FAIR LAKES, Va., Jan. 22, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has named Tony Spehar sector vice president and general manager for its Kinetic Energy Interceptors program.

Spehar reports directly to Jerry Agee, corporate executive for missile defense and president of Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector. In this role, Spehar is responsible for leading the company's effort to develop and test the Kinetic Energy Interceptors missile defense program.

"Tony brings an enormous amount of program management experience on large missile integration projects to the KEI effort," said Agee. "Before joining the program, Tony spent more than 15 years managing several high-profile efforts aimed at modernizing the Minuteman III ICBM weapon system, making this highly complex missile viable through 2030. As the KEI program moves into its final stages of development, Tony's expertise will be vital to helping the customer successfully deliver this much-needed capability as part of our nation's layered missile defense system."

KEI is a flexible missile defense system featuring the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's newest high-acceleration booster. The system is being developed as a land-based asset with options that enable land- and sea-mobility. Fully deployed, KEI will be capable of destroying intermediate and intercontinental ballistic missiles in their boost, ascent and midcourse phases of flight. A Northrop Grumman-led team won the eight-year development and test contract in December 2003.

Since joining Northrop Grumman in 1979, Tony has served in various program management and engineering roles, from program acquisition, hardware and software development, and production, to overseeing deployment of several key military systems.

Most recently, Spehar served as vice president and deputy general manager for the KEI program, as well as KEI director of business development and director of systems engineering and integration. Prior to the KEI program, Tony was the program director for the Minuteman III Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP), a $1.9 billion effort to modernize the propulsion systems on the land-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Most notably, Tony led the contract restructure effort in April 2004, following two industrial accidents at subcontractor facilities and as program manager, led the company efforts to requalify new suppliers and transition the PRP work seamlessly to new production facilities.

In addition to the ICBM PRP effort, Tony led several other ICBM modernization efforts as part of Northrop Grumman's highly successful 15-year contract to modernize and sustain the nation's force of Minuteman III missiles through 2030.

Spehar earned a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's in nuclear engineering from the University of Utah. He also completed the Advanced Program Management Course at the Defense Systems Management College in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $31.5 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:  Marynoele Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 345-6734