ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Jan. 9, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force to begin integrating U.S. Marine EA-6B aircraft with LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) pods.

The contract, issued by the Air Force as the executive procurement agent for all LITENING AT pods, marks the first integration of an advanced targeting and sensor system on any EA-6B. When the EA-6B integration is completed later this year, there will be a total of seven different types of U.S. combat aircraft that utilize Northrop Grumman's LITENING AT.

"The Marines have accumulated over 110,000 hours of LITENING AT use on their AV-8B and F/A-18 aircraft," said Mike Lennon, vice president of targeting and surveillance programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "EA-6B integration with LITENING will provide the Marines with a persistent, multi-sensor surveillance asset in support of their ground forces. The addition of LITENING is expected to provide an added combat dimension to the EA-6B's existing countermeasure sensors capabilities."

Northrop Grumman's LITENING AT system is a self-contained, multi-sensor laser target-designating and navigation system that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, track and identify ground targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons. To date, over 440 pods have been ordered with over 360 fielded, the most of any advanced targeting and sensor system. It is currently operational on AV-8B, A-10, B-52, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. Since the introduction of LITENING in 1999, the system has undergone numerous major upgrades to ensure continued combat relevance in an ever-changing battlespace. The fourth generation version being developed is the next step in that evolution, with fielding with U.S. forces anticipated in 2008.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Ellen Hamilton
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (224) 625-4693
          ellen.hamilton@ngc.com