NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Oct. 19, 2009 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) used its foundry at the company's Shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va. to melt 35 tons of steel to cast strut arms needed to support the propeller shafts of the nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The pour took place on Oct. 9.

"We've completed about five percent of the ship's construction contract," said Mike Shawcross, vice president for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's aircraft carrier construction programs. "The keel laying ceremony is Nov. 14, a first step toward bringing this ship to life."

The foundry was established in 1856 and was purchased in 1902 by the Newport News shipyard. Since then, it has produced quality castings for hundreds of commercial and U.S. Navy ships and has also supported hydro-electric projects like the Hoover Dam. The foundry is capable of producing eight million pounds of castings annually, weighing from one pound to 70,000 pounds.

The Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) class will continue the legacy of highly capable U.S. Navy aircraft carrier ship platforms. Enhancements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems, and a redesigned island, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie rates. It will also include new nuclear power plants; increased electrical power generation capacity; allowance for future technologies; and reduced workload for the sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and lower operating costs for the Navy. Delivery to the Navy is scheduled for 2015.

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