LE BOURGET, France, June 10, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- A cooperative mixed-fleet approach for NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) is being provided by the Transatlantic Industrial Proposed Solution (TIPS) industries, comprised of EADS, Galileo Avionica, Northrop Grumman ISS International Inc. and Thales. They will display their mixed-fleet solution during the Paris Air Show 2003.

The TIPS approach features an effective, best-value systems solution consisting of manned, midsized aircraft, High-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (HALE UAVs) and a component of mobile and transportable ground stations. It provides an Initial Operating Capability by 2010. This complement of manned and unmanned aircraft will provide the kind of transformational military capability envisioned by NATO and heads of state and government at the Prague Summit.

The TIPS solution is unique, not only in terms of technology but also in creating an industrial structure open to multinational cooperation. NATO AGS is also a critical component of future European intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance architectures, an important building block of a NATO Response Force, and a key enabler of trans-Atlantic cooperation and military transformation of Alliance forces for the 21st century.

The TIPS HALE UAV complements the manned A321-sized aircraft's wide-area detection capability with small-area focus at high-resolution and provides gap coverage for areas that may be temporarily screened. In all cases of operation, the HALE UAV component can provide around-the-clock surveillance coverage without refueling. This capability provides an overwhelming force multiplication advantage that is effective in peacetime/humanitarian missions as well as crisis management and Article V operations.

The HALE UAV provides many advantages to the TIPS approach. In addition to a stand-alone capability, it offers extended reconnaissance and surveillance missions. In addition, with this platform in the fleet, precise, time-sensitive targeting would be available when cross-cued by the manned midsized jet.

The HALE UAV capability would enhance network centric communications by extending communications nodes beyond line-of-sight. It would also provide for reduced risk as unmanned high-altitude and extended operations offer a closer look without putting human lives at risk.

The TIPS system-of-systems approach also includes a cooperatively developed, active electronically scanned array radar sensor known as the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR). TCAR is a watershed event in government and industrial cooperation and technology sharing, by capitalizing on technology developed in both the U.S. Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) and Europe's Stand-off Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar demonstrator (SOSTAR-X).

TIPS features a full 19-nation industrial participation plan, involving industry from all participating nations directly in the program. Technology from this program will also be available to participating nations for national reuse, optimizing national investments.

TIPS is a trans-Atlantic industrial response that provides NATO with an AGS core capability that meets NATO's Staff Requirement, is consistent with North Atlantic Council and Conference of National Armaments Directors decisions and supports NATO's transformational capabilities objectives. Employing the TCAR on both platforms, TIPS will provide situational knowledge through a shared common ground picture that will be available to NATO and national decision makers.

Together with all NATO nations, the TIPS industries endeavor to develop a solution for an effective and affordable NATO AGS capability combining the benefits of manned and unmanned surveillance platforms. The companies continue to maintain constant dialogue with the NATO member nations whose industries are invited to participate in this high-technology program.

EADS, Galileo Avionica, Northrop Grumman and Thales, are a trans-Atlantic team of prime contractors of legacy systems and radar solutions, bringing systems integration experience and low-risk solutions to the TIPS mixed-fleet approach. They include the prime contractors for the U.S. MP-RTIP and European SOSTAR radar programs.

With revenues amounting to 30 billion Euro (2002) and more than 100,000 employees, EADS is the largest aerospace and defence company in Europe and number two worldwide. EADS business comprises a leading position in Europe in the field of airborne defence electronics as well as a wide experience on system integration for Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, general command, control and communications, commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, commercial launch vehicles, missile systems as well as satellites.

Galileo Avionica embodies the avionics and airborne radar capabilities of Finmeccanica, Italy's largest high-technologies company and national defence leader. Galileo Avionica offers systems integration capabilities and know-how, accumulated since the sixties through a process of rationalization and merging of Italian avionics systems and equipment companies.

Northrop Grumman ISS International, Inc. is a Northrop Grumman Corporation company. Northrop Grumman is a $25 billion 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 approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 37 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the E-8C Joint STARS, E-10A MC2A and MP-RTIP radar programs.

Thales is a world leader and front-runner in professional electronics in three key markets: Aerospace, Defence and Information Technology & Services. The Group employs 65,000 people in nearly 50 countries around the globe, and generated revenues of over 10 billion Euro in 2001, 75% of which came from international sales. Thales Airborne Systems Business Group is the European leader for airborne mission systems, airborne radars, missile electronics and airborne, naval & ground electronic warfare systems.

For Editors: The TIPS industries are displaying in the joint portion of the Northrop Grumman pavilion located at A428/431. In addition, the TIPS industries will be holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 17 June, at the Thales chalet, B112/115. Correspondents wishing to attend the press conference or set up interviews with the industrial members, please contact the individuals listed below.

News Media Contacts:

Lothar Belz, lothar.belz@sysde.eads.net, +49-731-392-3681

Galileo Avionica: 
Mirta de Benedictis, debenedictis@finmeccanica.it, +39 (0) 64 1883719

Northrop Grumman: 
Jim Stratford, jim.stratford@ngc.com, +1 (321) 726 7526
  or +1 (321) 626-5201

Monique Navarra, monique.navarra@fr.thalesgroup.com,
 +33 (0) 1 3481 40 50