BERLIN, May 16, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The TIPS industries - European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), Galileo Avionica, General Dynamics Canada, Indra, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Thales - have established a joint venture company to respond to a request for proposal from NATO for the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program.

The joint venture company, AGS Industries GmbH, will be the prime contractor for the program. The organisation is registered in Ottobrunn, Germany with a principal office in Brussels. A contract for the design and development phase is expected from NATO later this year.

Larry Harrell, Northrop Grumman International's vice president for programs, will serve as AGS Industries' first managing director and chief executive officer.

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to lead the industry team for this most important project for NATO," said Harrell. "In order to deliver a long-sought after transformational program such as this, we will have a strong AGS Industries team.

"With the establishment of AGS Industries, we are fulfilling our promise to the alliance, and will be in a position to formally submit our response to NATO's request for proposal for the design and development phase, which we received last month."

Speaking on behalf of the TIPS industries, Johann Heitzmann, president and chief executive officer of EADS Military Air Systems said, "We are very satisfied that we have established the AGS Industries GmbH. The joint venture demonstrates the participating companies' commitment to integration and cooperation, and has helped us to establish a united approach toward our NATO customer."

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.

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