APOPKA, Fla., Dec. 2, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Navy's Naval Surface Warfare Center has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Laser Systems unit a $22 million contract to produce an improved version of the Special Operation Forces Laser Marker (SOFLAM).

A compact, lightweight portable laser rangefinder and designator system, SOFLAM enables ground forces to pinpoint critical enemy targets for delivery of precision laser-guided weapons. Work under the contract is expected to be completed by February 2006.

"SOFLAM's value in the field was demonstrated by various branches of the U.S. and international military communities during both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom," said Steve Guch, director and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Laser Systems. "We look forward to utilizing our expertise in laser design and production to provide affordable, state-of-the-art SOFLAM hardware in a timely manner to U.S. warfighters."

Northrop Grumman's Laser Systems business unit developed and produced earlier versions of SOFLAM. A number of U.S. military organizations are currently fielding these systems.

Based in Apopka, Fla., Northrop Grumman Laser Systems is involved in the design, development, manufacture, and support of airborne, ground vehicle and man-portable laser and electro-optical systems. It is a component of the company's Baltimore, Md.-based Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics and systems including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space systems, marine and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.

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