BERLIN, May 17, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The TIPS industries - European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), Galileo Avionica, General Dynamics Canada, Indra, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Thales - announced here today that officers from five of its member companies will comprise its joint venture leadership team.

The joint venture company, known as Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) Industries GmbH, will serve as the prime contractor for NATO's mixed fleet AGS program. The joint venture received final approval from national competition authorities on May 11, 2006.

Larry Harrell, Northrop Grumman International's vice president for programs, will serve as AGS Industries' first managing director and chief executive officer. The five officers will be supporting the program covering operations, finances, technology, program and the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR) sub-system, which is to be developed.

Stefan Baten, from EADS, was named deputy managing director and chief operating officer; Thales' Patrice Gilardoni was named chief financial officer; Walter Istchenko, from General Dynamics Canada, was named the new organization's technical officer; Galileo Avionica's Pietro Bucci was named program officer; and Indra's Benjamin Martin Alvarino was named TCAR officer.

A request for proposal for the system design and development phase was received from NATO last month. AGS Industries will present a response by September and the design and development contract award is expected to be early next year.

The NATO AGS system will provide situational awareness through a shared common ground picture that will be available to NATO and national decision makers. The TIPS mixed fleet of manned and unmanned platforms will provide the alliance with a core component for the NATO Response Force, providing a critical capability designed to meet its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and command-and-control requirements for the 21st century. The mixed-fleet solution will also support a variety of new mission requirements for NATO including nation building, homeland security and humanitarian relief.

AGS Industries is working with industries in the 23 participating countries to bring this transformational capability to the alliance.

  CONTACT:  Jim Stratford
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (M) 321-960-8497