BETHPAGE, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Representatives from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Navy gave detailed technical briefings in December about the Hawkeye 2000 battle management and airborne early warning system to officials of the Indian Navy.

The Indian Navy is interested in the export configuration of the Northrop Grumman Hawkeye 2000 as a possible solution for its requirement for an airborne early warning aircraft with extensive surveillance and command-and-control capabilities. The aircraft would be used to patrol India's coastline and support deployments of the Indian fleet.

"The more we talk to India's military leadership, the more we understand the complexity of their airborne early warning requirement and the importance they place on a system that can meet those mission requirements on a continuous basis," said Tim Farrell, vice president and integrated product team leader for airborne early warning programs at Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "The more we learn about the Indian Navy's requirements, the more we feel confident that no system being offered worldwide can more consistently and reliably meet and exceed those mission parameters, than the E-2C Hawkeye 2000."

The Hawkeye 2000, now in production for the U.S. Navy, is the most advanced airborne early warning and command-and-control system in the world. According to Farrell, while all systems under consideration by the Indian military have sensor capability, only the Hawkeye has proven itself with the U.S. and six other nations as a command-and-control asset that is interoperable with the U.S. Navy. One third of the world's Hawkeye aircraft flying peacetime and wartime missions are operated by nations other than the United States.

"Hawkeye is more than a system that watches the skies," Farrell said. "It fuses data from onboard and off-board sensors from the air, sea surface and littorals to give decision-makers in the aircraft and around the network a single, comprehensive picture of what is occurring.

"Such capabilities enable Hawkeyes to take over management of air and surface rescue operations during a natural disaster, or be immediately able to serve as an airborne command post in threats to homeland security," said Farrell. "Our customers understand its power and are continually finding new ways to use the Hawkeye."

Northrop Grumman and U.S. Navy representatives expect to have additional meetings with the Indian Navy in the coming weeks and months. Northrop Grumman is also continuing discussions with several Indian defense companies about ways in which they can participate in the Hawkeye program, both for U.S. and international customers.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.