RESTON, Va., April 4, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Within months after beginning fielding with the U.S. Coast Guard, Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) software developed by a Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) team was instrumental in the search and rescue of an Orlando, Fla., resident who went overboard while on a cruise and was spotted by the Coast Guard eight hours later about 30 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

SAROPS uses a sophisticated, cutting-edge animated grid model to project where floating persons or objects might be located. It allows searchers to define the situation, access environmental data such as wind and water current patterns, compute drift models, simulate environmental hazards, predict survival time, and develop a comprehensive search plan with available resources.

Northrop Grumman began developing SAROPS in 2003 under the U.S. Coast Guard Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) contract. The SAROPS portion of the contract is valued at approximately $2 million per year. Since December 2006, SAROPS has been fielded throughout the Coast Guard and is currently the service's primary search and rescue tool.

"Northrop Grumman has a long, proud history of partnering with the Coast Guard and 15 years of experience automating search and rescue tools. We are gratified that SAROPS was instrumental in a successful search and rescue operation so soon after being fielded," said Leo Black, Northrop Grumman's SAROPS program manager. "We congratulate the U.S. Coast Guard -- especially the captain and crew of the Chandeleur -- on the successful completion of this mission. They did a superb job."

The Northrop Grumman SAROPS team also includes Applied Science Associates, Inc., Narragansett, R.I., and Metron, Inc., Reston, Va.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  George I. Seffers
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          703.345.8548
          George.Seffers@ngc.com