BETHPAGE, N.Y., Nov. 4, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop technologies and tools for predicting the near-term structural health and readiness of aircraft to carry out their missions.

The Structural Integrity Prognosis System will give the U.S. military the ability to monitor the effect of the stresses and strains of flight operations, combat and environmental corrosives on structural aircraft components. It promises to reduce aircraft maintenance life cycle costs, increase crew safety and enhance aircraft availability.

Northrop Grumman's $14.1 million contract could be worth up to $32 million if all options are exercised. It is one of the largest non-product related research and development contracts won by the Bethpage-based Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW&EW) Systems business unit of the company's Integrated Systems sector.

"This award builds upon our previous research and development programs in prognostics and diagnostics, as well as our work in materials, structures and avionics," said Robert Klein, AEW&EW Systems' vice president for engineering, logistics and technology. "We've previously applied these concepts to our work on NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and DARPA's Joint Unmanned Combat Air System, and expect to apply them to many more of our programs."

Under the Structural Integrity Prognosis System contract, an Integrated Systems-led team will research, develop and demonstrate a prognosis system for real-time or near real-time asset capability prediction, with specific emphasis on materials and structures. The goal of the system is to provide military commanders with data and quantitative performance predictors they can use to manage, deploy, and use individual combat systems to the limit of their capability.

Integrated Systems will perform the work at its sites in Bethpage and El Segundo, Calif., home of the sector's Air Combat Systems unit.

Other members of the Integrated Systems team include: Alcoa Technical Center, Pittsburgh, Penn.; Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.; Impact Technologies, Rochester, N.Y.; Jentek Sensors Inc., Waltham, Mass.; Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Mass.; Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Miss.; Oceana Sensors, Virginia Beach, Va.; Triton Systems, Chelmsford, Mass.; Analatom Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif.; Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Material Tech, Los Angeles; Quantum Magnetics, San Diego; Rensselaer Polytechnic, Troy, N.Y.; and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

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

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  CONTACT:  John A. Vosilla 
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 
          (516) 575-5119