LONDON, Dec. 28, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today announced that its Remotec UK Ltd. subsidiary has been appointed prime contractor for Phase II of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) CUTLASS robotics programme. The CUTLASS programme will provide the next generation of unmanned ground vehicle for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) to be used by the MoD for anti-terrorism operations worldwide. The bulk of deliveries will take place in 2010.

"We are delighted to have been awarded the CUTLASS production contract after our strong performance in the demanding competitive Advanced Demonstrator phase of the project. CUTLASS will provide the MoD with a step change in capability via a robot that is capable of adapting to new innovations in the world of bomb disposal," said Wendy McGowan, managing director of Remotec UK, Ltd.

"We are very excited about this contract award. It builds on our existing long-standing close relationship with the MoD and demonstrates our ability to create strong industry partnerships leading to the robust application of leading edge technologies," said Dr Graham Thornton, vice-president of business development for Northrop Grumman UK.

The CUTLASS system offers the latest technology in a modular design, thereby enabling the user to deal with the full range of both military and improvised explosive devices. Its highly versatile design means that it is capable of accommodating a wide range of payloads, sensors and tools.

The manipulator arm is equipped with a state-of-the-art gripper and has nine degrees of freedom for greater movement and agility inside limited spaces, such as the interior of a car. The robot is able to creep along at deliberately slow speeds for delicate operations and may accelerate to high speeds to enable rapid travel. The six-wheeled design offers mobility on all types of hard and soft terrain and in all weather conditions.

Prior to the CUTLASS programme, Northrop Grumman through its Remotec subsidiary in the UK was, for more than ten years, the sole supplier to the MoD of the Wheelbarrow-class bomb disposal robot. Northrop Grumman has more than 2,000 unmanned ground vehicles in operation worldwide.

QinetiQ is providing the vehicle command and control systems. QinetiQ's user-friendly operator command console will combine manual commands with advanced software to provide the unprecedented functionality required for such a demanding mission environment.

The logistics support effort will be led by LSC Group. The support strategy will translate user availability, maintainability and requirements into cost-effective support solutions using a wide range of analysis and prediction tools and techniques. In addition, LSC will have responsibility for the CUTLASS programme's risk management and tracking activities.

Remotec is a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman with locations in Coventry, UK and Clinton, Tenn. in the United States. Remotec is an industry leader in developing and manufacturing unmanned ground vehicle systems for police, military, and industrial applications in more than 52 countries worldwide.

Northrop Grumman in the UK operates from five primary locations: Fareham, Coventry, New Malden, Peterborough and Solihull providing avionics, communications, electronic warfare systems, marine navigation systems, robotics, C4I and mission planning, IT systems and software development. Northrop Grumman established its UK corporate office in London in early 2006.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defence 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:  Ken Beedle
          Northrop Grumman
          +44 0207 747 1910