NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Feb. 12, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a planning contract valued at approximately $139 million for continued preparations for the overhaul and refueling of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

The ship is scheduled for arrival at the company's Newport News sector in November 2005. This will be the vessel's only refueling during a service life expected to span approximately 50 years.

This contract is a modification to the original contract awarded in May 2001 and brings the total contract value to date to approximately $330.5 million. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for this program.

Work to be performed under the contract includes advance planning, design, documentation, engineering, material procurement, shipboard inspections, fabrication, and preliminary shipyard or support facility work.

Named for former U.S. Rep. Carl Vinson, the carrier Vinson was built at Northrop Grumman Newport News and christened in 1980. The congressman attended the christening ceremony at age 96 and became the first living American to have a Navy ship named in his honor. The ship was commissioned by the Navy in 1982.

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 18,000 people.

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  CONTACT:  Jerri Fuller Dickseski
          Northrop Grumman Newport News 
          (757) 380-2341

          Jennifer Dellapenta
          Northrop Grumman Newport News 
          (757) 380-3558