NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Dec. 12, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The Virginia-class submarine North Carolina (SSN 777) left for its first set of sea trials, referred to as Alpha trials, on Weds., Dec. 12 from Northrop Grumman Newport News.

Sea trials provide an opportunity to test all systems, components and compartments and include submerging for the first time, high-speed runs while on the surface and submerged, and a demonstration of the submarine's other capabilities.

Participating in these trials for the fourth ship of the Virginia class include Admiral Kirkland Donald, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program; Mike Petters, President, Northrop Grumman Newport News; Rear Admiral William Hilarides, Program Executive Officer, Submarines, and other Navy and industry officials.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 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:  Jennifer Dellapenta 
          Northrop Grumman Newport News
          (757) 380-3558