MELBOURNE, Fla., Dec. 11, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) two contracts worth a total of $254 million for the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS). The contracts cover work on the Joint STARS Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) sustainment and Joint STARS Extended Test Support (JETS) programs.

The $140 million TSSR award is for a seventh year, through 2007, following an initial six-year $810 million contract awarded in 2000, bringing the total cumulative value of the TSSR contract to $950 million. The initial contract included options that could extend Northrop Grumman's participation on this program for more than two decades.

Through this TSSR contract, the Air Force has reduced the cost of supporting the E-8C fleet by having the prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, partner with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. This cooperative business initiative has been a model for complete life cycle support.

The Air Logistics Center and Northrop Grumman use each other's best practices to provide economical Joint STARS support that fully meets the needs of the operational aircraft fleet. Northrop Grumman provides integrated management of all facets of depot maintenance, including some technology refreshment. The Air Logistics Center provides a dedicated management team in concert with software maintenance support, critical parts manufacture and repair of specific mission system items. Under this contract, most of the normal aircraft heavy depot maintenance repair and overhaul, including system upgrade modifications, will continue at the Lake Charles, La. Modification Center operated by Northrop Grumman. The contract also includes subcontract competition and small business participation.

The JETS II contract, worth $114 million over four years, provides test support capability for the Joint STARS Improvement Program. JETS II is a continuation of the current $64.8 million JETS program with similar objectives and provisions. The contract provides the critical skill infrastructure and the test assets necessary for the continued evolution and development of the Joint STARS system.

The key mission objectives under the JETS II contract include: conducting government testing; providing training and proficiency flights for mission crew and primary aircrew; office facilities for the government Joint Test Force, engineering services; participation in system demonstrations and exercises; and installation, evaluation, demonstration, and testing of potential system modifications and improvements.

"These contracts represent a continued emphasis being placed on the Joint STARS fleet to provide critically important information to our forces in the field," said Alan Doshier, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management Systems business area. "TSSR has served the Joint STARS program very well over the past six years of the contract. The JETS program will ensure we are able to test the latest technology for Joint STARS on the test bed aircraft."

"Our responsibility is to provide improved system sustainment and training for the warfighter while reducing support costs. We've been able to capitalize on the company's systems integration capabilities, not just when we were in design and production, but now for the complete life cycle of the program," said Doshier.

Both contracts are managed by the Air Force Material Command. The TSSR contract is managed through the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., and the JETS II contract is managed through the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass.

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:  Jim Stratford
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 
          (321) 726-7526
          jim.stratford@ngc.com