EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 2, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has started flight testing a new airborne surveillance radar for the Global Hawk unmanned aerial system to provide unprecedented situational awareness to battlefield commanders.

The first test flight of the radar took place last week on the high-altitude Proteus test aircraft. The Global Hawk version of the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor was tested in its moving target indicator (MTI) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) modes.

"This first flight of a year-long test program was a great success," said Pat Collins, Northrop Grumman MP-RTIP program manager. "The test aircraft flew for two hours at speeds up to 100 knots at an altitude of 22,000 feet. We were able to successfully check many of the onboard environmental systems and communications links as well as beginning integration of the SAR and MTI modes of the radar."

Proteus flights last April tested the aerodynamic effects of adding the pod that houses the radar to the aircraft. The pod contained mass simulators to replicate the weight and characteristics of the radar.

Northrop Grumman received a $90 million contract earlier this year to integrate the MP-RTIP radar into the Global Hawk system, including the air vehicle and ground stations, to support the air-to-ground radar mission.

The Global Hawk system features an unmanned air vehicle that flies at altitudes over 60,000 feet, above inclement weather. With its speed and maneuverability, Global Hawk can transit great distances, survey vast geographic regions and stay aloft on station for more than 24 hours.

The powerful combination of the two systems will provide persistent ground surveillance with pinpoint accuracy. Aboard Global Hawk, the MP-RTIP radar will enable combat target identification, target tracking and time-critical targeting.

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Company are jointly developing and producing the radar, which is an advanced air-to-surface/air-to-air radar that will deliver long-range, very high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator capabilities and air target tracking capabilities. Northrop Grumman also is the MP-RTIP prime under contract to Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass.

The MP-RTIP program also includes a Wide-Area Surveillance (WAS) sensor, which is significantly larger than the Global Hawk antenna and will provide even greater capability. The WAS sensor includes improved air-to-ground surveillance, precision air tracking, cruise missile defense and other special modes which exploit the inherent capabilities of the larger system. The first WAS sensor is scheduled to fly aboard the E-10A manned aircraft in 2010 during a technology demonstration program.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

          Jim Stratford
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (321) 726-7526

          Global Hawk
          Cynthia Curiel
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (858) 618-4355