SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. and HUNTSVILLE, Ala., March 14, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is one of two companies awarded a contract by the U.S. Army last month to design and demonstrate a prototype missile interceptor weapon system that will defend warfighters against rocket, artillery, and mortar (RAM) threats.

As part of the first phase of a multi-phased program spanning five years, Northrop Grumman will design, fabricate, integrate, and test hardware and software for a new battle element (BE) that is part of the Extended Area Protection and Survivability Integrated Demonstration (EAPS ID) program. The purpose of the EAPS ID is to create a mobile missile system (or BE) that can engage multiple, in-flight RAM threats accurately, and protect forward-deployed forces over a larger defended area at a much lower system cost, and cost-per-hit, than is currently possible.

"The EAPS ID program is another opportunity that builds on Northrop Grumman's leadership in force protection systems and 50 years of missile systems excellence," said Frank Moore, vice president of the Missile Defense Division at Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector. "We are applying existing technologies with an innovative approach to demonstrate to the Army a prototype system that is low-cost, mobile, accurate, and able to defeat RAMs within this extended area of coverage, a much needed capability for our future force."

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command/Research, Development, and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., is managing this contract.

During the next five years, the Northrop Grumman team will demonstrate the technology for a complete kinetic energy weapon system battle element. The BE includes a low-cost missile, a launcher, fire control radar, and fire control computer to defeat a wide-range of RAM threats. By the end of the contract, the Northrop Grumman team will have demonstrated this new capability to the Army during interceptor system testing at the Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz.

Northrop Grumman is leading an experienced technical missile and fire control team that includes Miltec Corporation and Torch Systems, both located in Huntsville. The initial award, option one, is for $6 million and extends through November. Options two through five will be executed annually for a total contract value of up to $40 million.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Marynoele Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 345-6734