BALTIMORE, March 26, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) successfully completed radar flight-test certification for the fourth-generation variant of the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the U.S. Air Force's F-22 Raptor.

The fourth-generation AESA radar, designated the AN/APG-77V(1), brings a significant upgrade to the F-22 aircraft beginning with Lot 5 and provides the capability to carry out numerous search and targeting missions.

Flight tests of the Northrop Grumman AESA radar system were conducted as part of an overall flight-test certification of the Raptor by the Combined Test Force team at Edwards Air Force Base from Jan. 18 to March 7, 2007. The tests included four sorties involving the launch of AIM-120 and AIM-9 missiles and 1,000-lb. Joint Direct Attack Munitions against simulated threats.

"These fourth-generation F-22 radar system enhancements will help ensure that the U.S. Air Force continues to have the most technologically advanced equipment for today's critical missions. During all of these flights, the radar performed exceptionally," said Teri Marconi, vice president of combat avionics for the company's Electronics Systems sector. "With its high-resolution radar, the F-22 possesses a sophisticated sensor suite, allowing the pilot to track, identify, and defeat air-to-air threats before being detected."

The flight-test certification is one of the prerequisites for the aircraft to begin the Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE) phase. Successful completion of the OUE, which is conducted at several Air Force bases, signifies that the Raptor, as equipped with the fourth-generation radar variant, is available for combat.

The 24 Raptors of Lot 5 are the first to receive the fourth-generation radar variant, with deliveries to the Air Force scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2007.

Northrop Grumman produces the radar under contract to The Boeing Company's (NYSE:BA) Integrated Defense Systems unit, which has responsibility for integrating the avionic systems for the F-22 program, which is led by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) Aeronautics Co. Raytheon Systems (NYSE:RTN) is a joint-venture partner on the Northrop Grumman-led radar program.

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:  Alleace Gibbs
          Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems
          (410) 765-1294