PASCAGOULA, Miss., Feb. 14, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Navy today awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $1.4 billion cost plus incentive fee contract for the construction of a Zumwalt-class destroyer, DDG 1001, as well as major components for the DDG 1000. The contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, a newly-formed company sector comprising the former Ship Systems and Newport News shipbuilding sectors.

"This contract award provides the groundwork that will help define the future of U.S. Navy shipbuilding," said Mike Petters, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. "Our involvement in this program highlights our traditional expertise and success in building surface combatants."

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's Gulfport facility will build the composite deckhouse for all DDG 1000 class destroyers; this award includes the construction of the deckhouse for DDG 1000.

"The award marks another key milestone in our continuing program execution beginning with the validation of breakthrough technologies," said Brian Cuccias, Northrop Grumman vice president of DDG 1000. "These technologies will be incorporated in this destroyer and bring an advanced level of fighting capability to the Navy and Marine Corps. With a shift in focus to more composite structures in naval applications, our Gulfport, Miss., facility becomes an important factor in the success of the DDG 1000 program."

This award enables construction of DDG 1001 to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009, with an expected delivery date of 2014. Fabrication of the DDG 1000 deckhouse will start in the fourth quarter of 2008.

DDG 1000 is the first in a class of new U.S. Navy multi-mission surface combatants tailored for the littoral, air and sub-surface warfare. These ships will operate as part of a joint maritime fleet, assisting Marine strike forces ashore. DDG 1000's flexible design, unmatched stealth and precision volume strike make this ship an important asset to the U.S. warfighter.

The DDG 1000 class ship displaces approximately 15,000 tons, is 600 feet long, has a beam of 86 feet, a navigational draft of 28 feet and a ship's crew of 148, including the aviation detachment.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 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:  Bill Glenn
          Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
          (228) 935-3972