ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., March 9, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Pilots serving with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air National Guard are the first to benefit from the new, enhanced capabilities of the LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) system from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC).

The first 10 production LITENING AT systems have been delivered to the Marine Corps by Northrop Grumman and, under a separate contract, four production LITENING AT systems and upgrade kits and 14 additional systems have been provided to the Air National Guard.

The Marine Corps systems were the first deliveries under contracts totaling $40.3 million that included 20 new LITENING AT pods, spares and support, and the retrofit of 47 LITENING Extended Range (ER) pods to the LITENING AT configuration.

The Air National Guard systems were the first deliveries under a $19.7 million contract to retrofit 45 LITENING II and 19 LITENING ER pods and spares to the LITENING AT configuration for the Guard. The Guard has since awarded Northrop Grumman a separate $10.3 million contract for eight additional LITENING AT pods.

The U.S. Air Force Materiel Command's System Program Office, which supports multiservice/multinational targeting requirements, manages both the Marine Corps and Air National Guard efforts.

The AT version of LITENING includes enhanced image processing, multitarget cueing, precise target coordinate generation for geo-located J-Series weapon delivery, and extended air-to-air capabilities.

"The Air National Guard deployed LITENING-equipped A-10s and F-16s in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to provide target verification, coordinated operations with ground forces, and accurate target coordinate generation," said Mike Lennon, vice president of Targeting and Surveillance Programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "LITENING proved to be the most capable yet cost-effective precision targeting system available today, and the AT configuration represents the next significant advancement in precision targeting capabilities for our warfighters."

The Northrop Grumman LITENING AT is a self-contained, multisensor laser target designating and navigation system that enables fighter pilots to detect, acquire, track and identify ground targets for highly accurate delivery of both laser and global positioning satellite-guided weapons. The LITENING AT system includes a 640 x 512 pixel Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera that doubles the resolution available with earlier FLIRs; charge-coupled device television; laser spot tracker/range finder; infrared marker; laser designator; and two-level maintenance.

LITENING AT joins it predecessors, LITENING II and LITENING ER, that are currently fielded with Air National Guard F-16s and A-10s; U.S. Air Force Reserve Command A-10s, B-52s and F-16s; U.S. Marine Corps, Italian and Spanish AV-8Bs; and Air Force F-15Es and A-10s.

Based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division, which is working this contract, designs, develops and manufactures radio frequency and electro-optic/infrared products that protect military aircraft, ships, satellites and ground vehicles from attack by modern weapons; provide tactical aircraft with 24-hour targeting and navigation capabilities; ensure high-value, complex, electronic and electro-optical weapons systems are mission ready; and evaluate defense electronic performance in complex environments.

The division is a component of Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems, including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space systems, marine and naval systems, government systems, and logistic services.

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Katie Lamb
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
(847) 259-9600, ext. 3542