SAN DIEGO, July 17, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector will begin the preliminary design phase of the unmanned combat armed rotorcraft (UCAR) program under a new funding agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The award strengthens the company's global leadership position in the development of advanced unmanned systems.

UCAR is an eight-year, four-phase advanced technology development program sponsored jointly by DARPA and the U.S. Army. The program will demonstrate an affordable system that can identify and prosecute concealed ground targets in close combat situations without putting a pilot in harm's way. The system must operate seamlessly with other components in the Army's system-of-systems objective force construct while performing a broad range of "dull, dirty or dangerous" missions.

Northrop Grumman's $8.7 million Phase II award begins immediately.

"Northrop Grumman is working closely with DARPA and operational users to develop a lethal, affordable UCAR system that meets or exceeds all mission requirements," said Martin E. Dandridge, executive vice president of Integrated Systems and general manager of the sector's Unmanned Systems unit in San Diego. "We're integrating 'best-of-the-best' technologies from across industry and leveraging technology developed for other successful unmanned systems to create a system that will significantly increase the safety and operational effectiveness of U.S. warfighters."

Northrop Grumman's Advanced Capabilities Development (ACD) organization, an internal "think tank," will lead the company's UCAR development efforts. ACD creates and develops new system designs and advanced technologies to support future military requirements. It will conduct the program at Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems facility in San Diego. The UCAR work will build on the company's experience and demonstrated leadership in developing advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems such as Global Hawk and Fire Scout, and the Pegasus unmanned combat technology demonstrator.

The UCAR system will operate autonomously with a high degree of collaboration using a flexible mission management and control system that enables command on the move. It features a support structure that provides effective training, low operating costs and simplified maintenance under a wide range of operating conditions.

Phase I of the UCAR program focused on concept development and system trade-off studies. Phase II will be followed by a system development activity in Phase III and system maturation in Phase IV. Following a favorable Milestone B decision at the end of 2009, the program will transfer to Army control and undergo formal system development and demonstration leading to an initial operating capability by 2015.

As an expert in autonomous UAVs and system-of-systems integration, Integrated Systems is leading a Northrop Grumman UCAR team that includes three other company sectors: Electronic Systems, Baltimore, Md., (advanced sensors and integration); Mission Systems, Reston, Va., (Army mission systems and advanced logistics); and Information Technology, Herndon, Va., (information fusion and Army Objective Force CONOPS). Other key members of the team include Kaman (air vehicle); L3 Communications (datalink and networking); and BAE Systems (advanced mission management). Several nontraditional suppliers - Natural Selection, Inc.; The Saber Group, LLC; and ASTA - fortify the team with their innovative technologies and unique experience.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. As one of Northrop Grumman's seven sectors, it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for U.S. government, civil and international customers. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland security missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.

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  CONTACT:  Cynthia Curiel 
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (858) 618-4355

          Jim Hart 
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (310) 331-3616