LONDON, March 18, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman ISS International Inc., a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), today submitted its proposal for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence's WATCHKEEPER battlefield imagery and intelligence program.

Northrop Grumman is a world leader in developing military, network-enabled systems. Its WATCHKEEPER proposal culminates three years of risk-reduction work with the Ministry of Defence and builds on the company's 60 years experience in unmanned systems and battlefield information systems.

Northrop Grumman's proposed WATCHKEEPER system addresses all of the Ministry of Defence's key requirements for target detection, identification and data dissemination on the modern battlefield. It will give the U.K. Armed Forces an all-weather, world-class intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability for the 21st century.

"Northrop Grumman's WATCHKEEPER solution will provide the United Kingdom with a flexible, robust and highly capable system for handling critical battlefield intelligence requirements well into the future," said Scott Seymour, president of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector, which includes Northrop Grumman ISSI. "It will also capitalize on the company's demonstrated experience and success fielding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in a network-enabled environment."

Northrop Grumman's proposed WATCHKEEPER solution features an open, service-based architecture that can easily encompass new technologies and respond to new operational requirements throughout the system's predicted 30-year system life, explained Seymour. To ensure that it remains responsive to those evolving requirements, he added, the company would base its WATCHKEEPER program management team in the U.K from day one.

Northrop Grumman supports its WATCHKEEPER bid with a highly qualified, operationally experienced team that will continue its partnerships with the Ministry of Defence to make this highly capable ISTAR system available for U.K. Joint Forces. The team -- which includes General Dynamics U.K. Ltd, BAE SYSTEMS, Ultra Electronics, Detica, STASYS, HVR Consulting, QinetiQ and RUAG Aerospace -- will help minimize the risk of fusing WATCHKEEPER into the future battlefield.

Northrop Grumman's proposed WATCHKEEPER system offers a combination of UAVs. The fixed-wing Ranger UAV, currently in service with the Swiss and Finnish defence forces, has completed more than 3000 successful missions. The bid also includes the Northrop Grumman-developed Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical UAV, currently in low-rate initial production for the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Army has also selected Fire Scout as the Class IV unmanned aerial system for the service's Future Combat System.

Both Ranger and Fire Scout are adverse-weather capable and can be launched and recovered autonomously, operating from sites in the field. This freedom from the constraints of operating from a fixed airfield means the UAVs can deploy alongside the operational maneuver units they support, providing truly organic ISTAR capability. This flexibility is key to maintaining field commanders' operational tempo in a wide range of missions, helping to stay inside any adversary's decision-action cycle. This on-call provision of superior intelligence and information to the point of decision in a modern, fluid battlefield directly supports the U.K. military doctrine of Manoeuvre Warfare.

By acknowledging the nature of current and future military operations, the Northrop Grumman team has ensured that the WATCHKEEPER system is fully interoperable with NATO and coalition forces.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. Headquartered near Los Angeles, it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for government and civil customers worldwide. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.

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