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Northrop Grumman to Demonstrate Newest LITENING Targeting System During U.S. Joint Forces Command's 'Bold Quest' Exercise


ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Sept. 4, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will demonstrate the latest generation of its LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) pod, an advanced precision targeting and sensor system, during "Bold Quest," a U.S. Joint Forces Command-sponsored military exercise scheduled for Sept. 12-15 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Bold Quest is an advanced concept technology demonstration intended to test coalition combat identification. U.S. Joint Forces Command will look at several friendly force tracking systems for its ability to work together during September's Bold Quest 07 demonstration, which will also assess the overall joint effectiveness and ability of the systems to support joint warfighters.

LITENING's participation is a result of a cooperative effort between the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command's Electronics Systems Center and Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. The LITENING targeting system is currently deployed with the Air Force's Air Combat and Air Force Reserve Commands, U.S. Air National Guard, and the U.S. Marine Corps.

"The recent modifications of LITENING's digital infrared sensor, advanced laser designator, combat identification sensor coupled with the Air Force's latest secure data link, being developed under the Tactical Targeting Network Technology program, will provide for the longest detection and identification ranges of any targeting pod and allow secure network transmission of video and associated metadata," said Mike Lennon, vice president of Targeting and Surveillance programs for Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "Moreover, these new technologies form the basis for the new LITENING 4th Generation system currently undergoing development and testing."

Northrop Grumman's widely fielded LITENING AT system is a self-contained, multi-sensor weapon-aiming system that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, auto-track and identify targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons. LITENING AT features advanced image processing for target identification; coordinate generation for GPS weapons; a 640 x 512 pixel forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor for effective day and night operations; a new 1,024 x 1,024 pixel charge-coupled device television sensor; a new dual waveband infrared laser designator and range finder; a laser spot tracker; an infrared laser marker; and an optional air-to-ground data link and digital video recorder.

The LITENING 4th Generation system now in development will feature the most advanced 1024 x 1024 pixels (1k x 1k) FLIR sensor for improved target detection and recognition ranges under day/night conditions; new two-way data links and other networking capabilities to enable improved communications between ground-based and airborne forces; new sensors for improved target identification; and other advanced target recognition and identification features. Other product improvements already incorporated into LITENING as part of the new version include a new 1k charge-coupled device sensor, which provides improved target detection and recognition ranges under daylight conditions.

To date, almost 500 LITENING AT pods have now been ordered by the U.S. forces and allied nations. More than 400 of the systems have been fielded, the largest number of any advanced targeting and sensor system. LITENING AT is combat proven on AV-8B, A-10, B-52, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. Together, all variants of the LITENING pod have amassed more than 700,000 flight hours, more than half of which have been logged under deployed and combat conditions.

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:  Ellen Hamilton
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (224) 625-4693

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