NEW ORLEANS, April 11, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- (WITH PHOTO) Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Ship Systems sector will christen Polar Discovery in a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, April 13, 2002, at its Avondale Operations in New Orleans, La.

Polar Discovery is the third of five Endeavour Class double-hulled tankers Northrop Grumman Ship Systems is building for Polar Tankers, Inc., the shipping division of Phillips Alaska, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips Petroleum Company.

The Endeavour-class tankers are the first crude oil carriers being built for the Alaskan trade in compliance with the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Kevin O. Meyers, executive vice president of Alaska Production and Operations, Phillips Petroleum, and president of Phillips Alaska, Inc., will deliver the principal address at the christening.

Other speakers scheduled include John J. Hennon, president, Polar Tankers, Inc., and Dr. Philip A. Dur, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. George R. Yount, vice president of Avondale Operations, will welcome guests and offer opening remarks.

"These five Endeavour-class tankers demonstrate Phillips' commitment to protect the environment while providing reliable energy for America. Alaska is a legacy asset of Phillips Petroleum and we plan to maintain production at 375,000 to 400,000 barrels of oil per day equivalent for the foreseeable future," said Meyers.

Dur commented, "The christening of this third double-hulled tanker underscores our commitment to compete successfully in profitable commercial shipbuilding. We are proud to be partners with Polar Tankers in building these revolutionary, environmentally friendly tankers."

"Polar Discovery is a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of the thousands of hard-working men and women of Avondale and across Northrop Grumman Ship Systems who contributed to building this fine ship," said Yount. "We can all share in the pride we feel as we prepare to christen this great ship, and we look forward to delivering more of these extraordinary tankers."

The new ship's sponsor, Mrs. Dore` Meyers, will christen the ship. Mrs. Meyers is the wife of Kevin Meyers. Also participating in the ceremony will be Ashleigh Liston, maid of honor, Mrs. Meyers' sister.

The Endeavor-class tankers are being built to meet or exceed existing and proposed environmental regulations and will set new standards for innovation and environmental protection.

In addition to being built with double hulls, the tankers incorporate several redundant systems, such as double, independent engine rooms, and twin propellers, rudders and bow thrusters for greater maneuverability. The Endeavour-class vessels have all cargo, fuel and lubricating oils isolated from the ship's side by ballast tanks or void spaces. The ships also meet pending air emissions regulations for engines, and are painted with tin-free, antifouling paint in anticipation of proposed regulations.

The crude-oil carriers are 894.7 feet (272.69M) long by 151.6 feet (46.2M) wide by 86.29 feet (25.3M) deep, and will hold just over one million barrels of cargo at full capacity.

Polar Discovery, currently undergoing outfitting at Avondale, is the sister ship of Polar Endeavor, which was delivered last year, and was honored as "2001 Ship of the Year" by one national maritime industry publication and named to the distinguished list of "Great Ships of 2001" by another marine magazine. This is the second consecutive ship Northrop Grumman Ship Systems has built and delivered to be named Ship of the Year. In 2000, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy received the same distinction.

Ship Systems currently has four 140,000 deadweight-ton (DWT) crude oil carriers under construction at Avondale for Polar Tankers. The second ship, Polar Resolution, recently returned from sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico in preparation for her upcoming delivery. Construction continues on the fourth ship, Polar Adventure, and a keel-laying ceremony for the fifth ship in the series, Polar Enterprise, is scheduled for later this month.

Polar Tankers' present fleet consists of five vessels ranging in size from 50,000 to 190,000 DWT. The entire fleet is employed in the Alaska crude trade.

Phillips Petroleum Company is an integrated petroleum company with interests around the world. Headquartered in Bartlesville, Okla., the company has 38,700 employees and $35 billion of assets, and had $26.9 billion of revenues in 2001.

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, headquartered in Pascagoula, Miss., includes facilities in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss., as well as New Orleans, and Tallulah, La. The sector, which currently employs more than 17,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.

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