ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., March 14, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- A directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system produced by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected to safeguard the Royal Australian Air Force's next-generation fleet of A330 Multi Role Tanker Transports.

Deliveries of Northrop Grumman's Nemesis DIRCM system, under a $24 million contract with prime contractor European Aeronautic Defence and Space Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A. (EADS CASA), are expected to begin in January 2007.

Nemesis is a combat-proven, laser-based countermeasures system that protects crews of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft from attack by heat-seeking missiles. The system works automatically by detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity infrared countermeasure system to track and defeat the threat.

The only such system currently in production, Nemesis is being installed on several hundred aircraft, including over 20 different fixed and rotary wing platforms, for the U.S. military and several allied countries including the United Kingdom, Australia and Denmark.

"This contract with EADS CASA represents the first application of our proven DIRCM technology to an Airbus platform," said Bob Del Boca, vice president, Infrared Countermeasures and Laser Systems, at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "Not only does this win demonstrate our system's versatility and applicability to a wide variety of aircraft, but it also affirms our company's commitment to entering adjacent marketplaces and to bringing the benefits of our life-saving IR countermeasures capabilities to the largest number of allied air crews possible."

Northrop Grumman's Nemesis system was previously selected by the Australian government as the infrared missile protection system for its Project Wedgetail fleet of Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.

The Royal Australian Air Force contracted EADS CASA to produce five modified Airbus A330 aircraft, dubbed Multi Role Tanker Transports, to provide air-to-air refueling capabilities. Intended to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of Boeing 707 refueling tankers, the new aircraft will be capable of refueling F/A-18, F-111, Airborne Early Warning and Control, and Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. They will also be used to transport troops, fuel and cargo payloads.

Based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division designs, develops and manufactures radio frequency and electro-optic/infrared products that protect military aircraft, ships, satellites and ground vehicles from attack by modern weapons; provide tactical aircraft with 24-hour targeting and navigation capabilities; ensure high-value, complex, electronic and electro-optical weapons systems are mission ready; and evaluate defense electronic performance in complex environments.

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

  CONTACT:  Katie Lamb
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (847) 259-9600, ext. 3542
          Katie.lamb@ngc.com