AUSA WINTER SYMPOSIUM, FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 27, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Electronic Systems sector has been awarded a contract valued at $24 million for follow-on production of its improved AN/TPQ-36(V)8 Firefinder radar system that provides better performance and reduced life cycle cost.

The continuation of a sole-source contract was awarded by the U.S. Army's communications and electronics command on behalf of the Program Executive Office for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors, Fort Monmouth, N.J. It calls for an additional 15 Firefinder systems and spares that will support both the Army and Army National Guard. This will increase the total AN/TPQ-36(V)8 systems fielded by active Army, National Guard and U.S. Marine Corps units to 102.

Firefinder is used by field artillery units to provide enemy mortar, artillery and rocket-launch locations; target acquisition; and counterfire support for divisions, brigades and rapid-deployment task forces.

"The (V)8 variant improves significantly over previous Firefinder systems in crew member survivability, maintainability, overall system performance and reduced life cycle cost," said Dr. Robert Weber, Firefinder program manager for Northrop Grumman. "The operations central group is overpressurized to provide protection from chemical and biological agents, and the system also incorporates a control display terminal for remote operation from up to 100 meters from the system itself."

The Firefinder system locates targets by using X-band radar to detect incoming mortar and artillery rounds and rockets. It then determines the launchers' positions and relays targeting data to a fire direction center (FDC) for counter-battery engagement.

Firefinder can also be used to detect rounds in flight and extrapolate impact points. This information is then passed back to the FDC to enable more precise target engagement with subsequent rounds.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.

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  CONTACT:  Doug Cantwell
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (410) 765-9332