HERNDON, Va., Aug. 5, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected as the Preferred Bidder to provide aircraft maintenance and design engineering support services to improve availability and reduce through-life ownership costs for the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force fleet of E-3D Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. Northrop Grumman and the Ministry of Defence will enter into discussions about the program specifics, with an anticipated contract award date of January 2005.

The Sentry Whole Life Support Programme contract is expected to be valued at approximately $1.19 billion* (650 million Pounds) over 21 years.

The Preferred Bidder status results from a contracting process in the United Kingdom whereby companies receive an invitation to negotiate, and are then down-selected through a competitive process to Preferred Bidder status. The Preferred Bidder then continues to have detailed discussions with the customer to agree the terms and conditions of any resultant contract.

Under the terms of the contract, Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector will support the maintenance schedule for AWACS aircraft, ensuring that only one aircraft, out of a fleet of seven, is in scheduled maintenance at any given time. The contract also includes repairs of structural parts and inventory upkeep, support of design engineering, maintenance training, and conversion and management of technical publications in an electronic format.

Northrop Grumman IT teammates include AAR CORP., Wood Dale, Illinois; BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire, UK; and FR Aviation, Christchurch, Dorset, UK.

"We will bring Northrop Grumman's full range of life-cycle solutions to the Royal Air Force's AWACS modernization program," said James R. O'Neill, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Information Technology sector. "Northrop Grumman's supply-chain management improvement efforts, coupled with our design and modernization experience with the U.S. Air Force Joint STARS Total System Support Responsibility Program, will be significant contributors to the E-3D Sentry Whole Life Support Programme."

The collaborative efforts of four Northrop Grumman business sectors have been integrated to provide a total systems solution to support this Royal Air Force program. Northrop Grumman's Information Technology sector, the overall lead sector, will provide systems integration, program management, and information technology infrastructure. Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector will have engineering support responsibility and design authority for AWACS. This sector brings similar experience of aircraft design, building and maintenance from its work with the U.S. Air Force Joint STARS program. The company's Electronic Systems sector will provide its leading radar capabilities while Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector will offer highly sophisticated interactive electronic technical manual support. This cross-sector collaboration, using best-of-breed processes and technologies from across the organization, provides a template for future programs.

The contract will employ approximately 165 people, with about 145 being in the U.K. Work on the program will be carried out at RAF Waddington, near Lincoln, U.K.

Northrop Grumman is a 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 125,000 employees, and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

* Editor's Note: Based upon an exchange rate of 1.8258 as of Aug. 4, 2004.

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  CONTACT:  Juli Ballesteros, APR
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (703) 713-4675

          Christy Whitman
          (703) 713-4436

          U.K. Contact:  Anthony Scammell
                         Weber Shandwick