DULLES, Va., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that its Fairchild Defense division recently won a contract from Lockheed Martin Corporation, valued in excess of $26 million, to provide an advanced version of its mass memory and data transfer equipment for the F-16 Block 60 fighter aircraft that were recently approved for sale by the U.S. to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Orbital's onboard avionics will include terrain-referenced navigation and ground collision avoidance systems, as well as the company's state-of-the-art solid-state video recording capabilities.

In addition to the onboard systems, Orbital is also in negotiations with Lockheed Martin to provide a customized version of the Fairchild Defense Modular Mission Support System (MMSS), which allows flight crews to "rehearse" their mission on the ground and then transfer the data to the cockpit for use during the actual flight. The MMSS is designed to improve both flight safety and mission effectiveness.

Orbital's Fairchild Defense division is already a supplier of advanced avionics systems to UAE. In 1999, the company was awarded $30 million in new contracts to supply its Data Transfer equipment (DTE) and MMSS for UAE's new Mirage 2000/9 aircraft. The systems for the F-16 Block 60 aircraft, to be supplied through Lockheed Martin, will be similar, but will be customized for the F-16 and its role in UAE's defense strategy.

Mr. Donald P. Ryan, Orbital's Senior Vice President and General Manager of its Fairchild Defense division, said, "We are very pleased to be part of the UAE F-16 program, which is being led by Lockheed Martin, to supply avionics systems for the most advanced model of the world's most widely-deployed fighter aircraft. Our participation in this program, through the contract with Lockheed Martin, will enhance our already solid relationship with the UAE Air Force and Air Defense."

Orbital's DTE systems are already being used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Army aboard more than 35 aircraft types, including the F-16, F-22, A-10 and B-1B. In addition to U.S. military customers, national air and ground forces around the world also use Orbital's state-of-the-art DTE, including most of the NATO alliance countries, as well as Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, among many others.

Orbital's Fairchild Defense division manages the development, production, integration and testing of a wide array of advanced electronics and avionics systems for use in military aircraft, helicopters and land vehicles.

Orbital is one of the largest space technology and satellite services companies in the world, with 1999 total enterprise revenues (including revenues from unconsolidated affiliates) of approximately $915 million. The company, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, employs about 5,500 people at major facilities in the United States, Canada and several overseas locations.

Orbital is the world's leading manufacturer of low-cost space systems, including satellites and space robotics, launch vehicles, electronics and sensors, satellite ground systems and related digital infrastructure. Its Magellan subsidiary is a pioneer in satellite-based navigation and communications products for consumer and industrial markets. Through its ORBCOMM and ORBIMAGE affiliates and ORBNAV subsidiary, Orbital is also a major operator of satellite-based networks that provide data communications, high- resolution imagery and automotive information services to customers around the world. SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

/NOTE TO EDITORS: To learn more about Orbital and Orbital's Fairchild Defense division, as well as to access our recent press releases, please visit the company's web site at http://www.orbital.com/

CONTACT: Barron Beneski of Orbital Sciences Corporation, 703-406-5528, or Beneski.barron@orbital.com/