RESTON, Va., May 15, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- With the addition of a new command-generation capability developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Mission Systems sector, the Launch and Network Control Equipment (LANCE) system is now a full-service satellite command and control system.

The ability to generate commands represents a significant improvement to the LANCE system, which was developed for the National Reconnaissance Office Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. This improvement will allow LANCE to generate commands, providing users with increased support for their programs.

LANCE, which became operational in July 2000 after an 18-month development, was originally limited to communication connectivity to the U.S. Air Force Satellite Control network and telemetry processing.

An integrated government and contractor team working from Redondo Beach, Calif., and Colorado Springs, Colo., developed the LANCE system. Comprised of mostly commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and hardware, LANCE replaced legacy systems that used large mainframe processors with millions of lines of custom software with a modern, high-performance, workstation-based architecture using COTS.

"The LANCE program validated our decision to invest in reusable COTS-based satellite command and control capabilities," said Richard T. Witton, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Mission System's Command, Control and Intelligence Division. "The underlying technology, architecture and software integration techniques, which are being reused in other major space programs such as the Space Tracking and Surveillance System and restricted programs, have the potential to significantly reduce overall customer operations and maintenance costs."

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a $3.5 billion global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.

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  CONTACT:  Janis Lamar
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 345-7046