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Northrop Grumman Showcases Enhanced Mission Planning System Framework

RESTON, Va., Oct. 17, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) recently showcased the newest Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) software at the international Mission Planning Users Conference in Orlando, Fla., demonstrating the production-level quality of the tailorable and reconfigurable framework.

Northrop Grumman, which develops the core JMPS framework for use in the U.S. Department of Defense and coalition mission planning systems, demonstrated currently fielded frameworks, frameworks in development and capabilities planned for future JMPS Framework releases, proving its universal utility as an integrated foundation. The next version of the JMPS software will dramatically improve information sharing, in part by allowing access via thin clients, web browsers, and smaller devices such as personal digital assistants. It will also make mission planning information readily available to the command and control community of interest, offer cutting-edge mapping capabilities and will allow operators to reroute missions in flight.

JMPS provides unit-level mission planning for all phases of military flight operations and is being integrated to support fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, weapons, and sensors, including precision-guided munitions, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles for all military services. Additionally, coalition partners use JMPS to plan missions for combat operations and combined United States and coalition operations.

Northrop Grumman demonstrated the latest framework software product line, version 1.3.2, a precursor to the next generation version 1.4. Version 1.4 of the framework will complete the evolution to a service-oriented architecture. The company also demonstrated a common unmanned air vehicle planning system integrated with automatic sensor planning and low-observable auto-routing based upon Northrop Grumman's Rapid Autorouting Grid Extensions, a state-of-the-art technology that rapidly creates automated routing solutions necessary in a fast-paced mission planning environment involving unmanned vehicles and a myriad of other available assets.

"Northrop Grumman's recent framework product line enhancements are providing needed capabilities to support American and allied warfighters. The number of fielded military systems relying on JMPS will grow dramatically in the next year," said Jill Dawes, Northrop Grumman JMPS framework program manager.

JMPS, which is being used to support ongoing combat operations around the globe, is fielded today to support a variety of platforms and weapons, including F-15 and F/A-18 fighters, EA-6B Prowler, AV-8B Harrier, E-2C Hawkeye, S-3 Viking, Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response guided missile, and Common Unique Planning Component, which is supporting the Joint Direct Attack Munition and Joint Standoff Weapon.

Following successful operational tests, additional platforms and weapons are expected to use a JMPS-based mission planning solution, including: B-1B bomber, F-16 and F-22 fighters, Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft, F-15 fighter suite 5 & 6, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, Electronic Warfare Common Component, Weather Common Component, Precision Guided Munitions Planning Software, and Precision Guided Munition Targeting Database. Additionally, programs are underway to field a JMPS-based solution for F-35 Lightning II, Global Planning Common Component, A-10 Thunderbolt, Tactical Airlift Special Missions, and Air Drop Common Component. Almost all the above systems and components are built by contractors other than Northrop Grumman as plug-ins to the Framework demonstrating the "openness" of the architecture.

"The JMPS framework strategy is paying significant dividends to the U.S. and our allies as demonstrated by the number of fielded systems and the number of ongoing projects across industry and the government using the common framework developed by Northrop Grumman," said Mike Twyman, vice president of C3I systems for Northrop Grumman's Defense Mission Systems Division. "By providing a robust approach to collaboratively planning missions and ensuring interoperability across a wide variety of military platforms, the JMPS framework has already proven its universal utility. Our next generation framework, based upon an advanced service-oriented architecture, positions JMPS to meet our warfighter needs today and in the future."

The Northrop Grumman team was one of two companies recently awarded a $3 million contract by the Air Force Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., to perform requirements analysis in anticipation of a future downselect to enhance JMPS software and improve the architecture of the current JMPS framework for improved network centric operations.

Northrop Grumman's team is comprised of industry and government experts, including Tybrin Corporation, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, and Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, and has delivered the framework solution since 1999 through two competitively awarded contracts.

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:  George I. Seffers
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
          (703) 345-8548

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