RESTON, Va., and CLEARFIELD, Utah, Dec. 20, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Mission Systems sector was awarded a $181 million contract last week to continue full-rate production of the ICBM Guidance Replacement Program (GRP), which is upgrading the guidance-system electronics in the Minuteman III missile to extend its service life through 2020.

This is the fourth of eight production awards from the U.S. Air Force ICBM Systems Project Office at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The total value of the GRP Program to the ICBM Prime teams is $1.57 billion.

"This announcement culminates more than $1 billion in various awards to Northrop Grumman's ICBM team this year, greatly expanding our prime role and endorsing the results of excellent performance," said Dr. Donald C. Winter, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of its Mission Systems sector based in Reston, Va. "I am proud of our longstanding relationship with the Air Force on the ICBM program where close coordination and a dedicated team effort have resulted in an extremely successful program."

Northrop Grumman's teammate, Boeing Electronic Systems Missile Defense, Anaheim, Calif., produces the missile guidance sets for the GRP. Honeywell Space Systems Division, Clearwater, Fla., is a major subcontractor to Boeing and provides the system's computer.

"In addition to GRP and other longstanding modernization programs - part of a $6 billion, 15-year effort, Northrop Grumman is now upgrading launch control centers, transferring Peacekeeper warheads to existing Minuteman III missiles, and modernizing communications equipment. As we cap our fifth year managing the nation's force of 500 Minuteman III missiles, we will continue meeting milestones to take the ICBM program forward," said Winter.

Another key life-extension effort proceeding this year is the Propulsion Replacement Program, which entered its second year of full-rate production with an October award of $224 million. Northrop Grumman also manages the Propulsion System Rocket Engine Life Extension Program, awarded in 2001, which will refurbish the liquid propulsion stage of the Minuteman III missile.

In addition to Northrop Grumman's annual sustainment award in October for $135 million, new modernization efforts awarded this year include the Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle Program, awarded in April for $170 million, which transfers Peacekeeper reentry vehicles onto the Minuteman III to enhance the safety and maintain reliability of the reentry vehicle; the Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting Service Life Extension Program worth $65 million to upgrade the launch command centers; and the Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communication Network program worth $46 million to upgrade launch control communications.

Prior to the ICBM prime role, Northrop Grumman served as systems engineering and technical advisor to the Air Force helping it manage the ICBM fleet for almost 45 years. Under this arrangement, the ICBM System Project Office directed a number of associate contractors that provided various elements of the ICBM system.

Today, Northrop Grumman serves as prime contractor, working closely with the Air Force and leading a team comprised of our nation's core ICBM industrial base.

Northrop Grumman Corporation 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 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

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  CONTACT:  Marynoele R. Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 276.5037