REDONDO BEACH, Calif., May 18, 2009 -- A Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-led team completed the initial review of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) design against the critical design review (CDR) criteria. The CDR program milestone is expected to be completed in August, when the last action items are closed out.

Representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and independent auditors met at Northrop Grumman's Redondo Beach facility to review the program's system-level design in relation to performance requirements, interfaces to external systems and the concept of operations. NPOESS consists of four major segments, including the space; command, control and communications; and integrated data processing and field terminal segments.

"CDR was a broad review of a large and complex program that is unprecedented in scope and magnitude as a weather and climate monitoring system for the U.S.," said David Vandervoet, vice president and NPOESS program manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector. "The team demonstrated that the majority of the detailed design is complete and meets requirements. NPOESS is at a higher level of design maturity than typical at this milestone as a result of building sensors and ground elements for the NPOESS Preparatory Project, a risk reduction mission."

"NPOESS has benefited from extensive and knowledgeable customer and user involvement throughout its development," Vandervoet added. "The Science Advisory Team, Senior User Advisory Group, and NPOESS Customer Forum have also provided valuable guidance."

At the conclusion of the five-day review, representatives from two independent tri-agency government customer teams determined that the program elements were ready to move to the next planned phase of the program. The contractor team includes Raytheon, Ball Aerospace, ITT and dozens of other companies across the U.S.

"The week-long review reflected eight months of lower level design audits, and it presented sufficient design margins for the most populated NPOESS satellite, C3, which includes the large, spinning Microwave Imager Sounder sensor," said Dan Stockton, Program Executive Officer, NPOESS. "I look forward to the successful completion of the system critical design review in August."

NPOESS is the nation's next-generation operational low-Earth orbiting weather and environmental data collection system, and will provide military and civilian users with timely, high-fidelity operational and research data on the Earth's oceans, land surfaces, atmosphere and space environment to 2025.

The system, which is a key platform for providing essential operational data for climate research and national security needs, is capable of hosting more than 15 different types of advanced environmental, weather and climate sensors as well as key communications payloads that support search and rescue, environmental and wildlife data collection. The system design will provide a space platform and ground system to support current and future sensors.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Sally Koris
          Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
          (310) 812-4721
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