SAN DIEGO, July 18, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received a $90 million contract, to be completed in September 2009, from the U.S. Air Force to integrate a new airborne surveillance radar on the Global Hawk unmanned aerial system (UAS) to provide unprecedented situational awareness to battlefield commanders.

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Company are jointly developing and producing the radar under the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP). MP-RTIP 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 prime contractor MP-RTIP.

This contract will include the integration of 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 radar's air-to-air capability may be added as a future upgrade.

Testing of the pod that will house the radar has already begun. The pod was flown on the high-altitude Proteus test aircraft April 27 to test the aerodynamic effects of adding the pod to the aircraft. The pod contained mass simulators to replicate the weight and characteristics of the radar.

"The flight was a complete success," said Pat Collins, Northrop Grumman MP-RTIP program manager. "The test aircraft flew for three-and-a-half hours at speeds up to 150 knots at an altitude of 47,000 feet."

First flight with the actual radar is expected this fall aboard the Proteus.

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 improve combat target identification, target tracking and time-critical targeting.

To date, deployed Global Hawks have flown more than 6,000 combat hours in more than 260 missions in support of the war on terrorism. The first two production Global Hawk air vehicles were deployed in January.

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.

  CONTACT:  Cynthia Curiel
          Global Hawk/Farnborough
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (858) 618-4355

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