SAN DIEGO and LONDON, Dec. 8, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) joint industry-U.S. Army team has been honored as the winner of the 2007 Integrator of the Year Award by Shephard Group, publisher of Defence Helicopter and Unmanned Vehicles magazine, for its work on a demonstration involving the Hunter unmanned aerial system (UAS).

The Hunter Standoff Killer team, in which Northrop Grumman played a leading role, was honored for the advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD), which involved the integration of a manned-unmanned trio of a RQ-5A Hunter UAS, an AH-64D Lot 7 Longbow Apache helicopter, and a UH-60 A2C2 Black Hawk helicopter. The successful demonstration and live fire exercise, which occurred April 2006 at Fort Hood, Texas, marked the first time that a complete manned-unmanned teaming package had been used tactically by operational personnel outside of the test environment.

The ACTD and live fire exercise resulted in direct hits by four Hellfire missiles launched from an Apache helicopter. A second Apache was used to control the Hunter UAS, which was not only observing and tracking but also laser designating the range targets. Having greater endurance than manned platforms and containing a day/night sensor and laser payload, Hunter was launched before the helicopters and provided battlefield imagery to the Blackhawk helicopter. This capability allowed the team to build a tactical picture of the entire battlefield.

"We are honored and proud of our Hunter team for receiving this prestigious industry recognition. This is the culmination of more than five years of collaboration between Northrop Grumman and teammates Boeing, Lockheed Martin and several U.S. Army organizations," said Gary W. Ervin, vice president, western region, of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "It was an enormous accomplishment with the team meeting all objectives, including improved battle space management, increased survivability, enhanced precision targeting, and most importantly, maturation of the manned-unmanned teaming concept."

"The synergy created by the successes of the Hunter-Apache-Blackhawk team will significantly increase our warfighters' capability to accomplish their challenging missions," added Jim Perry, Hunter program manager for Northrop Grumman's Technical Services sector. "The 21st century battlespace is characterized by the constant evolution of our tactics, techniques and procedures supported by 'battle tested' manned and unmanned platforms that are highly capable, reliable and adaptable."

The award was presented Nov. 15 during the Heli-Power Show in London. Speaking after the ceremony, David S. Harvey, editorial director, USA, Shephard Group said, "The integration between helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles was a seminal milestone that had to be commemorated. The project was technically challenging and resource limited, but the team's determination and perseverance have provided a synergistic capability and modern combat operations for the Army. There's no doubt that the Hunter was a vital part of this effort, which will continue to grow exponentially in years to come."

The RQ-5 Hunter -- the Army's workhorse -- is a combat-proven UAS with more than 22,000 combat hours in the Balkans and Iraq. Hunter provides tactical warfighters with state-of-the-art reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense 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:  Bryan Culbert
          Northrop Grumman Technical Services
          (703) 713-4488
          bryan.culbert@ngc.com