NEWPORT NEWS, Va., May 21, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) received a $1.386 billion construction preparation contract for work on the new generation nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, CVN 21.

The company's Newport News sector is the prime contractor for the award. Work performed under this contract includes the continued design of the ship's propulsion plant and increased design efforts of the ship to meet the requirements of increased sortie rates, manning reductions and weight reductions. Long lead-time materials, such as propulsion machinery, will also be purchased under this contract, and advanced construction will begin for select units. The contract also provides for continued research and development efforts with key suppliers.

"The award of this contract is a major milestone in the life of this 21st century aircraft carrier," said Matt Mulherin, vice president for the CVN 21 program at Northrop Grumman Newport News. "It provides for the continued design of this ship and the development of innovative new technologies in support of transformational warfighting and sea-basing concepts for our naval forces through the next decade."

Innovations for CVN 21 include an enhanced flight deck, improved weapons movement, a redesigned island, a new nuclear power plant, allowance for future technologies and reduced manning. Construction is expected to begin in 2007 with delivery to the Navy in 2014.

Northrop Grumman Newport News, headquartered in Newport News, Va., is the nation's sole designer, builder, and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of only two companies capable of designing and building nuclear powered submarines. Newport News also provides after-market services for a wide array of naval and commercial vessels. The Newport News sector employs about 19,000 people.

Jerri Fuller Dickseski
(757) 380-2341

Jennifer Dellapenta
(757) 380-3558