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Northrop Grumman Delivers Technology to Ensure F-35 Mission Capability

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 5, 2006 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has delivered its final baseline software development test station for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, providing a level of capability that has not been available on legacy programs. It represents a significant milestone for the program on its path to maturing and delivering the stealthy aircraft prior to its first flight this fall.

The test stations are being used to ensure that various mission systems components of the aircraft-from the radar system to the communications, navigation, and identification system to the aperture system to all of the mission integration software executing on the integrated core processor-operate as intended in a representative environment before they are delivered to the Mission Systems Integration Laboratory (MSIL) for full system integration. The stations also serve as major components of the MSIL test lines.

"It is the F-35's unique blend of revolutionary and evolutionary technology from across the globe that presents allied warfighters with the best combination of performance and price," said Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman vice president and F-35 program manager. "These test stations combine software debugging tools, line-replaceable unit support and a real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation-generally only found in the system integration test lines-to bring this capability closer to the developer, allowing them to detect and resolve defects earlier in the process. This provides a higher-quality product during system integration and results in lower total program costs."

The 47 test stations developed by Northrop Grumman represent a significant portion of the test environment used for the development and verification of the aircraft. Over the past 27 months, the company has delivered the test stations to the F-35 prime partners (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Northrop Grumman, and BAE Systems) and four subcontractors in seven locations across the U.S. and U.K. in support of other program milestones.

The company has developed a family of mission systems test stations that enables users to test operational flight programs on the mission systems flight-configuration computer systems prior to system integration. These test stations also are used for all subsystem integration and verification activities and they form the central hub of the integration and test lines in Ft. Worth, Texas that are used for all system integration activities.

The F-35 is a stealth, supersonic multirole fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. Three variants derived from a common design will ensure F-35 meets the performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and allied defense forces worldwide, while staying within strict affordability targets.

As a principal teammate to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman is responsible for producing more than 25 percent of the F-35 weapon system. The company's contribution ranges from integrating a major section of the aircraft's structure to producing key subsystems such as communications, avionics and radar, and developing software for mission planning.

Northrop Grumman Corporation 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 more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

CONTACT:  Louise Muniak
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 
          (703) 898-5353

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