BALTIMORE, April 4, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected to inspect the wings of U.S. Navy P-3C Orion aircraft in order to identify and correct structural fatigue problems.

Under a prime contract awarded to ARINC, Incorporated, Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector will inspect six of the Navy's P-3Cs at its Hagerstown, Md. facility.

Originally designed as a land-based, long-range anti-submarine patrol aircraft, the P-3C has seen action recently as a battlespace surveillance platform, conducting this mission over land as well as sea. With its extended range and on-station endurance, the P-3C has proved invaluable during Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing timely battlespace information to forces on the ground.

"We look forward to working with the PMA-290 P-3C sustainment team to get these critical assets back to the fight," said Michael Deavers, director of aviation, land forces, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. "Our quick-response capability and specialized workforce position us uniquely to support the warfighter's urgent need for operationally effective aircraft."

During the inspection, technicians will remove sections of the airframe "skin" from leading edges of the wings. They will search for cracks emanating from rivet holes and repair any damage found. A number of aircraft are currently either grounded or flying under heavy performance restrictions as they await the inspection.

The Lockheed Martin Corporation's P-3 Orion, a four-engine turboprop, first entered the inventory in 1962, and more than 40 years later it remains the Navy's sole land-based anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The "C" variant is the only one still in active service. The last Navy P-3C rolled off the production line in 1990.

Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems and sensors, including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space sensors, marine and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.

  CONTACT:  Doug Cantwell
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (410) 765-9332 (office)
          (410) 979-3647 (mobile)