BETHPAGE, N.Y., Feb. 13, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- U.S. Navy pilots flying the service's new EA-18G electronic attack aircraft will protect U.S. and allied aircraft from enemy radar threats with a new and enhanced version of the airborne electronic attack (AEA) system that Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) currently produces for the Navy's EA-6B Prowler.

The company will produce the EA-18G ICAP III selective-reactive jamming system under a development and demonstration subcontract with Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, the Navy's EA-18G prime contractor. Northrop Grumman is the EA-18G prime mission system integrator. The value of the contract will be announced after its details have been finalized.

As the EA-18G's primary mission system, the powerful, agile ICAP III AEA system will allow the carrier-based aircraft to conduct a variety of new communications- and targeting-related missions. It will also reinforce the aircraft's role as an integral part of Sea Power 21, the Navy's transformational force structure.

"Today, the U.S. military sends no aircraft into harm's way without the radar-blinding protection of the EA-6B Prowler," said Philip A. Teel, sector vice president for Northrop Grumman's Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW&EW) Systems, a business unit of Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems. "That critical responsibility will continue with the EA-18G as Prowler passes the baton to the supersonic EA-18G/ICAP III system beginning in 2009. Like the Northrop Grumman-built Advanced Hawkeye, the EA-18G AEA system will continue the company's strong partnership with the Navy as it implements and optimizes the operational tenets of Sea Power 21."

The EA-18G is a derivative of the F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft that The Boeing Company and Northrop Grumman currently build for the Navy. It is scheduled to begin replacing the EA-6B Prowler in the 2009 timeframe. Like the Prowler, it will perform surveillance and electronic jamming of enemy threat radars and communications nets. Northrop Grumman, the Navy's EA-6B prime contractor, is also Boeing's principal subcontractor on the F/A-18 program. Northrop Grumman's F/A-18 work included production and integration of the aircraft's AEA system.

According to Teel, the company will develop new AEA hardware and software for the EA-18G so the aircraft's single electronic combat system officer can manage it. Prowlers have up to three operators during missions.

Northrop Grumman will perform the AEA engineering work at company facilities in Bethpage, N.Y.; Hollywood, Md.; and Camarillo, Calif. Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector in Baltimore will also participate in the EA-18G development work.

The Navy plans to procure a 90 EA-18G aircraft. In addition to designing and developing the electronic attack system, Northrop Grumman will also manufacture approximately 40 percent of each EA-18G airframe as it does currently for the F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Northrop Grumman is currently producing ICAP-III selective-reactive jamming systems for the EA-6B Prowler as part of a low-rate initial production effort begun in June 2003. Those systems will be available to upgrade Prowlers beginning in 2005. Under the new EA-18G contract, AEW&EW Systems will evolve the EA-6B ICAP III system to match the capabilities and configuration of the EA-18G.

Prowlers are the only tactical electronic attack assets in the U.S. inventory. They protect U.S. and allied air strike forces by blinding the radars of enemy air defense systems and disrupting enemy communications.

Current Prowlers jam radar by transmitting electronic signals over broad frequency ranges to "blind" adversary radars operating within each range. By contrast, the ICAP III jammer uses software to rapidly focus its jamming energy on any frequency band being used by an enemy surface-to-air missile system radars, making it particularly effective against frequency-agile radar threats. ICAP III also features a geolocation targeting capability that allows it to find and target radars and other electronic emitters.

Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, a unit of The Boeing Company, is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, it is a $23 billion business, providing systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., 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; space access; battle management command & control; and integrated strike warfare.

  CONTACT:  John Vosilla
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 
          (516) 575-5119
          john.vosilla@ngc.com