APOPKA, Fla., Dec. 11, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a contract valued at approximately $62 million from the U.S. Army to provide nearly 900 next-generation hand-held laser target locators to assist soldiers in locating and identifying enemy targets.

The Mark VIIE is a sleek, hand-held target locator that can accurately identify enemy positions and locations during the day or at night. The system has an embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide precision target location and improved target location error without the weight or size of a separate GPS device. It provides a more user-friendly and flexible graphical user interface than its predecessor and it operates using standard commercial batteries. The Mark VIIE provides both direct view day optics and an un-cooled thermal sight for nighttime operations. It can be used to conduct surveillance and target enemy positions for air or artillery engagement.

Mark VIIE is an enhanced version of the Mark VII eyesafe laser rangefinder. The Mark VII was proven in the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq where it provided accurate target locations necessary to employ precision-guided munitions. The Mark VII system is currently deployed with U.S. Army forward observers and scouts, U.S. Air Force tactical air control parties, U.S. Marine Corps forward observers and forward air controllers and members of Special Operations Forces.

"The Mark VIIE uses ground-breaking improvements to our original design and technology which provides a smaller, lighter, yet more capable target locator to the warfighter," said Gregory Williams, general manager of the company's Laser Systems business unit. "With its day and night capability, azimuth direction capability and decreased weight, the Mark VIIE gives our military personnel the surveillance and targeting capabilities they want and need for the battlefield."

"The Mark VIIE represents a significant advancement in target locating technology and increased safety for our surveillance and targeting personnel," said Williams. "The increased stand-off capability that it gives our troops to determine targeting information at longer distances provides our troops a greater chance of remaining undetected. The improvement to night surveillance capability allows Mark VIIE to significantly contribute to our ability to own the night."

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:  Ellen Hamilton
          Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems
          (224) 625-4693