CLEARFIELD, Utah, May 15, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) successfully completed a static test fire of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) technology-demonstrator motor on May 2 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The successful test fire, which Northrop Grumman accomplished together with principal teammate Alliant Tech Systems (NYSE:ATK), proved that the advanced propulsion concepts being developed for possible insertion into the Minuteman III stage-one motor will work and can greatly improve performance, range and affordability.

Designed and built by ATK at facilities in Promontory, Utah, the stage-one technology demonstrator rocket motor fired successfully to completion and met all test objectives regarding thrust, insulator/nozzle erosion and thrust vector control. Initial results from the test matched expectations for rocket-motor performance and integrity.

"This success reflects the synergy of manufacturing expertise and systems engineering between Northrop Grumman and ATK that is needed to provide our customers with the best possible systems and greatest mission assurance," said John Clay, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's ICBM prime contract. "The motor firing is a step forward in making this and other pending performance improvements for the Minuteman III available to the Air Force. These improvements enhance the warfighters' global strike capability."

The motor was developed and manufactured under the Propulsion Applications Program, one of more than 50 programs managed by Northrop Grumman in support of U.S. Air Force efforts to sustain the country's ICBM arsenal through 2020. Other "applications" efforts are focused on the missile's guidance and reentry systems, where this advanced development work not only reduces risk associated with potential future improvements, but offers an environment that continually challenges the technical prowess of this workforce.

"The 'applications' effort challenges the rich talent base of scientists and engineers at our Clearfield and San Bernardino facilities by offering opportunities to develop improvements to today's Minuteman III weapon system and tomorrow's next-generation of land-based strategic missiles," added Clay. "This program also helps the Air Force reduce risk in future improvements by proving concepts in advance to ensure successful integration in the future."

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 approximately 125,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

  CONTACT:  Marynoele Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems 
          (703) 741-7723