ANNAPOLIS, Md., Jan. 14, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed the first of three tests designed to demonstrate that air vehicle payloads such as UAVs can be successfully launched from an inexpensive, expendable capsule after it is released from a submarine.

This test of the Stealthy Affordable Capsule System (SACS), performed in a test pool at the SRI Corral Hollow Experiment Site in Tracy, Calif., successfully met its goal of demonstrating the key technologies of this system, including capsule hydro-stability, payload support and payload ejection in the actual environment.

The next step in the development process is to continue concept refinement including two additional waterborne tests to be held in February and August 2003. Once this phase of the contract is complete, SACS could be fitted with alternate payloads for a series of at-sea and submarine launched demonstrations.

The company is developing SACS under an agreement from Naval Sea Systems Command for the Submarine Payloads and Sensors program. Northrop Grumman is developing an affordable, flexible SACS concept for submarines of the future capable of interacting with a wide variety of payloads.

Northrop Grumman is a member of the Team 2020 Consortium that develops and demonstrates potential new technologies to maximize future submarine effectiveness.

Northrop Grumman Oceanic and Naval Systems, a unit of the company's Electronic Systems sector, designs, produces, tests and supports some of the world's most sophisticated undersea and naval systems.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.

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