RESTON, Va., Nov. 17, 2009 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will help the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) integrate and demonstrate an early-intercept capability under a task order received September 29. The company's initial effort includes planning demonstration experiments that will enable MDA to assess technologies to intercept a missile earlier in flight using current interceptor systems.

The Early Intercept effort aims to address renewed focus by the U.S. Department of Defense on dealing with large raids and countermeasures.

MDA and Northrop Grumman have spent more than five years refining techniques and technology for intercepting a missile in the boost phase, when intercept is most difficult. Many of these technologies were previously developed under other contracts, including the recently terminated Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) program.

Under the contract, Northrop Grumman will conduct initial tasks to design and develop an experimental, plug-and-play battle management, command and control architecture. This architecture would enable MDA to assess the ability of candidate sensors to produce a quality of service capable of consummating an early intercept against medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles by two of the MDA's missile defense interceptors: the Standard Missile-3 and the Ground-Based Interceptor.

"For the company and our customer, this initiative leverages Northrop Grumman's legacy KEI and C2BMC (command, control, battle management and communications) expertise and technology to advance a critical and promising capability. For the taxpayer, Early Intercept ensures previous investments in KEI will be applied judiciously to various aspects of the missile defense system to improve the ability to defeat threats to our nation," said Karen Williams, vice president for Air and Missile Defense Systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.

Early Intercept will demonstrate an integrated architecture of early warning sensors, including space, airborne, land and sea; regional fire control and battle manager systems; and secure communications. This integrated architecture will enable current systems to engage threats earlier in the battle space to improve protection against large raids and facilitate "shoot-look-shoot" opportunities.

Northrop Grumman's work is being funded by a three-month task order valued at $4.7 million issued under the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract the company holds for the Joint National Integration Center Research and Development Contract.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for programs crucial to a more global, mobile, flexible and affordable defense from ballistic missiles. These include the Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center, Colorado Springs, Colo., where nearly all missile defense tests of the operational BMDS are conducted and controlled by warfighters. The center also is the site for BMDS-level modeling and simulation, ground and flight tests, analysis and operational training.

As a BMDS subcontractor, Northrop Grumman is also:

  * Providing the high-energy and beacon illuminator lasers for the
   Airborne Laser to prime contractor, The Boeing Company
 * A sustaining member of the National Team creating the Command and
   Control Battle Management and Communications System;
 * Under contract to Boeing, designing and deploying the fire
   control products for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.
   These include the Fire Control System, In-Flight Interceptor
   Communications System Data Terminal, Communications Network
   Equipment, Network System Manager, and Command Launch Equipment

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.

Approved for Public Release

09-MDA-5026 (16 NOV 09)

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