REDONDO BEACH, Calif., April 20, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed on schedule the payload critical design review (CDR), a major program accomplishment for the Department of Defense's next-generation Advanced Extremely High Frequency (EHF) communications satellite system.

Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector will deliver the Advanced EHF payloads to the system prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif. Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide the first two Advanced EHF satellites and command and control system and is on track to complete the Advanced EHF system-level CDR in April.

The successful CDR demonstrates that the payload hardware meets all critical design requirements, that the flight manufacturing processes are in place for flight production and the program has high confidence that the payload will meet its 2006 delivery date. The program emphasis now shifts to design verification and production of the flight payload to support launch of the first Advanced EHF satellite in early 2007.

"More than 200 members of the Defense Department and support contractor teams attended the payload CDR, representing organizations across the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Navy associated with Advanced EHF requirements, acquisition, operations and terminal development programs," said Clayton Kau, vice president and Advanced EHF payload program manager at Northrop Grumman Space Technology. "Based on extensive test data from our engineering models that represents every payload subsystem, this milestone gives our entire Advanced EHF community high confidence that this system will meet the warfighters' needs and that the Flight 1 payload delivery is on track for early 2006."

Kau continued, "A next major milestone is the completion of the end-to-end payload engineering model and beginning the comprehensive verification process. Payload engineering model integration has already started and is due for completion at the end of this year. This hardware will be fully exercised and will be used to validate the payload digital processor, nulling antenna, phased array antennas, all the radio frequency units and the crosslink. The ultimate test will be when we bring in and test the user terminals prior to final integration and test of the Flight 1 hardware."

Julie Sattler, vice president and Advanced EHF program manager at Lockheed Martin, said, "The Lockheed Martin-Northrop Grumman team is making steady progress on developing Advanced EHF, meeting or exceeding all scheduled milestones and performance requirements for what will be the most complex and sophisticated military communications satellite system ever produced."

Northrop Grumman Space Technology is providing systems engineering expertise and developing the satellite communications payloads and software for the system, which will deliver secure, high-speed, network-centric communications to national, strategic and tactical users, as well as international partners.

Advanced EHF is the follow-on to the Milstar system, whose capabilities were cited by the Defense Department as essential to the U.S.-led coalition's success in Operation Iraqi Freedom by providing protected, assured transmission of critical targeting information and ground forces command and control data. Advanced EHF provides combatant commanders distributed control of their communication resources to allow flexible planning and execution of critical missions. Advanced EHF will provide 12 times greater total capacity, and offer channel data rates 10 times higher than that of Milstar II satellites.

Northrop Grumman Space Technology develops a broad range of systems at the leading edge of space, defense and electronics technology. The sector creates products for U.S. government and commercial customers that contribute significantly to the nation's security and leadership in science and technology.

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  CONTACT:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          (310) 812-5227
          bob.j.bishop@ngc.com