NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Nov. 24, 2009 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed the development of the detail design phase for the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) in the 3-dimensional Product Model. Gerald R. Ford is being built by the Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va., and is the Navy's first aircraft carrier to be completely designed using a 3-dimensional Product Model.

The 3-dimensional Product Model is the key enabler to execute the design/build process for manufacturing, construction, and testing through delivery, and includes definition of the ship's geometry, and technical definition of the ship's parts including the procurement, planning and manufacturing data. CVN 78's product model has over three million parts.

"This milestone is an important accomplishment for our design, engineering and construction teams, who have been working on the product model since 2001," said Mike Shawcross, vice president of aircraft carrier construction programs. "We will continue to develop, mature and extract the engineering and planning instructions for construction from the product model, but we have reached the point where all the initial design data have been loaded into the Product Model and the entire carrier now exists in the virtual environment. This virtual environment is very beneficial to our construction teams on the waterfront as it allows them to see and walk through the spaces before they actually build them."

The Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) class will continue the legacy of highly capable U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier ship platforms. Enhancements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems, and an island design that incorporates the government's latest technology in warfare, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie rates. It will include advanced nuclear power plants with increased electrical power generation capacity; allowance for future technologies; and reduced workload for the sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and reduced operating costs for the Navy. The keel of the first ship of the class, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), which is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2015, was laid Nov. 14, 2009.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Jennifer Dellapenta
          Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding
          (757) 380-3558