LE BOURGET, France, June 14, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Dutch firm Stork Aerospace has signed a $148.4 million, long-term agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) to produce composite parts and subassemblies for limited-rate initial production of in-flight operable doors and inboard weapons-bay doors for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter center fuselage, a major section of the aircraft being developed by Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin F-35 team, made the announcement during a formal signing ceremony at the Paris Air Show today.

"International participation is imperative to achieving the program's goal of developing the world's most advanced multi-role stealth combat aircraft," said Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman vice president and F-35 program manager.

"The F-35's unique blend of revolutionary and evolutionary technology from across the globe presents armed forces with the best combination of performance and price," Pamiljans said. "With development well underway, Northrop Grumman will continue to leverage the expertise of the program's international partners to help build an air system with unprecedented levels of interoperability for domestic and coalition forces."

Stork Aerospace, located in Naarden, The Netherlands, develops and produces advanced components and systems for the aviation and aerospace industry, and supplies integrated services and products to aircraft owners and operators. With this agreement, Stork's overall program work is valued at more than $280 million.

"Chosen for its best-value approach, Stork Aerospace exemplifies Northrop Grumman's and the entire F-35 team's objective to bring unprecedented and innovative technologies to the armed forces," Pamiljans said.

This new agreement comes on the heels of an announcement the two companies made last month that Stork's contract to design, develop and produce exterior doors that will open and close during the course of a mission would be extended by an additional $16 million, for a total value of $71 million.

The F-35 is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. Three variants derived from a common design will ensure F-35 meets the performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and allied defense forces worldwide, while staying within strict affordability targets.

The international signatories -- the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway -- have had direct input in the design phase of the aircraft and companies worldwide are participating in the F-35's development. More recently, Israel and Singapore have joined the F-35 program as security cooperative participants.

Currently, United States and United Kingdom sales alone account for nearly 2,600 aircraft and the Pentagon expects additional foreign purchases to be in the thousands.

Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the development and demonstration of the F-35. Responsibilities range from integrating a major section of the aircraft's structure to producing key avionics and communications subsystems to developing mission-planning software and training systems. Working as an integrated team with its customers, teammates and suppliers, Northrop Grumman delivers products and services that help make the F-35 the world's most advanced multi-role, stealthy combat aircraft.

Northrop Grumman's support of the F-35 program spans five of its seven sectors. The Integrated Systems sector is a principal F-35 teammate, designing and building the center fuselage and providing systems test, vehicle systems, mission systems and autonomic-logistics products and service. The Electronic Systems sector provides the fire-control radar and, in joint efforts with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, is developing the electro-optical distributed-aperture system and the electro-optical targeting system. The Mission Systems sector provides system and software engineering support for the mission-planning system. The Space Technology sector provides the integrated communications, navigation and identification avionics suite. The Information Technology sector, in joint efforts with Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support, provides training-management software.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 125,000 employees, and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

  CONTACT:  Louise Muniak
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (703) 898-5353