CARSON, Calif., April 30, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) battlefield digitalization and communications systems business areas have received a Level 5 maturity rating, the highest possible, against the newest standard for benchmarking industry's best management and engineering practices.

The business areas, part of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems' Tactical Systems Division, achieved the rating against the Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) Capability Maturity Model-Integrated (CMMI) standard. With this rating, the first CMMI Level 5 awarded within the Mission Systems sector, Tactical Systems Division joins the top tier of Department of Defense and other federal government contractor organizations.

"We have consistently been trailblazers for the CMMI initiative, but this achievement places us in elite company worldwide. The quality and maturity of our processes and personnel are evidenced not only by our Level 5 achievement but also our concurrent success in the field supporting the U.S. Army in Iraq," said Otto Guenther, vice president and general manager, Tactical Systems Division.

The rating was achieved in a comprehensive assessment completed at the company's facility in Carson, Calif. The appraisal was conducted in accordance with the industry standard CMMI appraisal method by Comskil, Inc., an external organization independent of Northrop Grumman.

"The strong process knowledge of the entire organization contributed to this success," said Galina Diggs, lead appraiser for Comskil. "I am particularly impressed with project management's understanding and use of Six Sigma tools and techniques to support quantitative management and ensure statistical process control."

The appraisal encompassed the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below (FBCB2) and the Tactical Internet Manager software engineering programs for the Army. Guenther said both programs are receiving "rave reviews" for operational performance on the battlefields of Iraq.

FBCB2 was named one of the government's "Top Five Quality Software Projects" last year by CrossTalk, The Journal of Defense Software Engineering. The CMMI standard was developed by a coalition of industry, government and SEI to objectively assess the full range of an organization's engineering capabilities. Of the five levels of CMMI maturity, higher maturity levels signify lower risks for successful program execution.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a $3.5 billion global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.

* Capability Maturity Model, CMM, and CMMI are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

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  CONTACT:  Janis Lamar
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems 
          (703) 345-7046