CLEARFIELD, Utah, Jan. 18, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $98.7 million contract in December to complete the full-rate production phase of the ICBM Guidance Replacement Program (GRP). This award capped a year of major achievements by the Northrop Grumman ICBM Prime Integration contract team to modernize and keep viable the nation's land-based strategic deterrent.

The GRP program is a key modernization effort aimed at upgrading the guidance system electronics in the Minuteman III ICBM to extend the missile's service life through 2020. Today's final production option was exercised by the Air Force 526th ICBM Systems Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The total nine-year GRP effort is valued at $1.5 billion for Northrop Grumman and will be complete in February 2009.

In addition to GRP, Northrop Grumman has successfully completed several major ICBM milestones this year, ranging from testing advanced propulsion systems to replacing reentry vehicles to deploying new environmental control systems for the missile. In addition, the company has booked more than $819 million in total contract awards on the ICBM Prime Integration program for 2006.

"The ICBM modernization effort continues to meet commitments and is delivering to the Air Force a strong, safe, and viable land-based strategic deterrent," said John Clay, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman ICBM Prime Integration Contract.

  * In January 2006, Northrop Grumman completed the Propulsion
   Replacement Program (PRP) restructure effort. The team is
   successfully moving forward with the remaining options on cost
   and on schedule. PRP replaces aging solid-rocket motor sets, for
   stages 1, 2, and 3, in the Minuteman III missile with
   remanufactured motors to maintain alert-readiness status
   through 2020.

 * In May 2006, Northrop Grumman and teammate ATK successfully test
   fired a Minuteman III technology-demonstrator motor, proving that
   the advanced propulsion concepts being developed for possible
   insertion into the Minuteman III stage-one motor can greatly
   improve performance, range and affordability. This effort also
   helps the Air Force reduce risk in future improvements by proving
   concepts in advance to ensure successful integration in the future.

 * In October 2006, the Northrop Grumman team began deployment of
   a replacement Environmental Control System (ECS) for more than 550
   U.S. Air Force Minuteman ICBM launch, missile alert, and Class 1
   trainer facilities. The ECS regulates climate controls and ensures
   that electronics and ground support systems are maintained at
   specified pre-set temperatures in launch control centers and launch
   facilities. DRS Technologies, Parsippany, N.J., is supplying
   components for the ECS program.

 * In January 2006 and October 2006, the U.S. Air Force exercised
   option five and six under the PRP effort, awarding Northrop Grumman
   a total of $450 million this year to continue the full rate
   production phase.

 * Also in October 2006, Northrop Grumman supported the U.S. Air Force
   as it deployed the first Minuteman III missile carrying the MK 21
   reentry vehicle, as part of the Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle
   program (SERV). Under SERV, Northrop Grumman is adapting hardware
   and electronic equipment on the Minuteman III to accommodate the
   MK 21, recently decommissioned from the Peacekeeper force, and the
   MK 12A reentry vehicles.

 * December 2006 also marked the delivery of the 500th GRP missile
   guidance set to the Air Force.

Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's ICBM prime integration contractor charged with modernizing and maintaining alert readiness of the U.S. ICBM weapon system through 2020. The company manages a team consisting of three principal teammates -- Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and ATK - and more than 20 subcontractors.

The Boeing Company, Command, Control and Communications Networks, Anaheim, Calif., produces the missile guidance sets for the GRP program under subcontract to Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector. Honeywell Aerospace, Defense and Space, Clearwater, Fla., is a subcontractor to Boeing and provides the system's computer.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Marynoele Benson
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 345-6734