MELBOURNE, Fla., Oct. 19, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Air Force's Electronic Systems Center have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to collaborate on developing and evaluating network-centric operations capabilities.

Northrop Grumman will leverage its network-centric, platform and system (of systems) development and integration expertise yielding solutions that will help improve access to raw data, processed data and fused information and knowledge needed for complete situational awareness and prosecution of time-critical targets. This collaborative effort will focus on integrating information from multiple U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies, and multi-national and industry partners to provide enhanced networked Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems sector's Airborne Ground Surveillance & Battle Management Systems business unit here is leading this effort for the company in conjunction with the Air Force Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.

"Northrop Grumman will be taking advantage of more than $120 million in prior company investments related to network-centric operations," said Dr. Mike Schoultz, director, Advanced Capabilities Development for Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems' Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management Systems business area. "We are part of an ever expanding portfolio of network-centric warfare capability developments across Northrop Grumman. Our premier corporate-wide modeling and simulation capability has been instrumental in developing and demonstrating C4ISR concepts such as the Interim Capability for Airborne Networking (ICAN) now being installed on the Joint STARS fleet, Advanced Information Architecture (AIATM) and Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2) systems."

Under this agreement, Northrop Grumman and the Air Force will make extensive use of Northrop Grumman's Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN), Crew Advanced Virtual Environment (CAVE) and E-8X laboratories. Through distributed experiments, this research and development effort will leverage existing Northrop Grumman and government C4ISR technologies to develop and improve network-centric concepts, processes and capabilities.

This collaboration will provide opportunities to enhance the value of network-centric system-of-systems experiments by broadening the concepts explored and in turn inserting the best technologies to address the challenges identified. The effort will include transferring and evaluating technologies and ideas developed by Northrop Grumman and the government.

The 24-month agreement will focus on defining, developing and integrating network-centric operations capabilities related to future organizational designs, processes, products and tools related to joint C4ISR. The collaboration between the Air Force and Northrop Grumman will allow further research and development of technologies in a globally networked environment to demonstrate advanced network-centric operations capabilities that meet immediate and future war fighting needs. Northrop Grumman will assist the Air Force in the development of a capstone demonstration plan leading to a live multi-platform network-centric operations demonstration.

"Tying in modeling and simulation assets representing current and future ISR programs will also allow us to examine the performance of hardware and software components that will help us address network-centric operations issues," said Meyer. "Our partnership with the government on many of today's flagship C4ISR systems such as Joint STARS, Global Hawk, Advanced Hawkeye and the E-10A provides the company with unique network-centric operations development and integration experience. Our goal is to accelerate potential network-centric operations capabilities that will provide increased situation awareness to all levels of command including the warfighter at the tactical edge."

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

  CONTACT:  Jim Stratford
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (321) 726-7526
          jim.stratford@ngc.com