REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Dec. 5, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has appointed three new vice presidents at the company's Space Technology sector to lead the Advanced Concepts organization; the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Business Development organization; and the Contracts, Pricing and Programs Business Management organization.

Those appointed are:

  --  Steve Hixson - vice president of Advanced Concepts
  --  Timothy J. Frei - vice president of ISR Business Development
  --  Brian Chappel - vice president of Contracts, Pricing and
      Programs Business Management

"These highly experienced company veterans add depth to our organization as we seek to identify new mission areas and act rapidly to provide solutions for quickly developing opportunities," said Alexis Livanos, president of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector.

Steve Hixson will lead the newly created Advanced Concepts organization, established to identify, define and mature concepts for new mission areas and develop responsive and rapid prototype solutions. Advanced Concepts is a strategic response to the growing need for a quick turnaround capability for lower-cost demonstration programs.

Previously the director of the Programs Directorate for Space Technology's Programs core process organization, Hixson has 24 years of industry experience at the company, distinguishing himself by leading various programs and in senior-level functional roles. Hixson was the program manager for the company's Airborne Laser program and also managed the Electro-Optics, Laser and Research Center. He held leadership roles on major programs such as the Tactical High Energy Laser test bed and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Hixson earned a bachelor's degree in optics from the University of Rochester, a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, and a master's degree in business administration from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Timothy J. Frei, as vice president of ISR Business Development, will lead the formulation and execution of Space Technology's ISR market area strategy and head new business pursuits. In addition, Frei will oversee the architecture, design and development of advanced systems through both government and internally funded studies, and he will determine the appropriate technology investment strategy for future ISR needs.

With more than 25 years of aerospace experience, 23 of which have been with Northrop Grumman in increasingly responsible functional and management positions, Frei brings broad background and skills to his new assignment. For the past year, he has held the position of director, Engineering Operations, where he provided leadership and management support to the Engineering organization.

Prior to assuming the Engineering Operations role, Frei was the director of System Implementation, where he led the Systems Engineering organization responsible for providing program-level system engineering, communications system engineering, and space and optical systems engineering for all Space Technology programs.

He earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA. Frei has completed the UCLA Executive Program at the Anderson School of Business.

Brian Chappel likewise brings a broad set of skills to his new role as vice president of Contracts, Pricing and Programs Business Management. He has more than 20 years of combined government and industry experience in a diverse set of business, strategy, management and technical disciplines.

Prior to joining the company in 1993, Chappel spent nearly 10 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he held a number of leadership positions in program acquisition and management at the Air Force Space Division and the Ballistic Missile Office.

Most recently, Chappel was a key member of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System leadership team where he has acted in several roles including capture manager, supply chain manager, systems integration manager and systems engineering manager. Previous leadership positions include director of Business Development for TRW Ventures as well as senior-level new business capture, program management and systems engineering roles on major programs. Prior to moving into technical management, Chappel spent five years working in the business management community as the division pricing manager for the sector's Defense Systems Division.

He earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State University and a master's degree in business administration from UCLA's Anderson School of Management.

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:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          (310) 812-5227
          (310) 251-0261 (cell)