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Northrop Grumman Supplies Integrated Avionics Systems for First Production Marine Corps AH-1Z and UH-1Y Helicopters

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Feb. 13, 2007 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A team led by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has supplied the "glass cockpits" for the first production models of the new U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z attack helicopter and the UH-1Y utility helicopter.

Built by Bell Helicopter, the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters were delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps in Amarillo, Texas in Jan. 2007.

The Northrop Grumman-built Integrated Avionics System (IAS) provides the H-1 helicopters with an interoperable glass cockpit and fully integrated avionics system anchored by two of the company's mission computers. Mission data critical to the pilot will be available through any single monitor, eliminating delays. The IAS will reduce pilot workload and can be upgraded to support new technologies.

"The IAS will offer a single common set of avionics for the AH-1Z Super Cobra and the UH-1Y Huey," said Gorik Hossepian, vice president of situational awareness systems for Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems Division. "It provides a common upgrade path and hardware and software commonality for all Marine Corps rotary wing aircraft."

Under the terms of its agreement with Bell Helicopter, the Northrop Grumman team will supply IAS glass cockpits for 180 AH-1Z and 100 UH-1Y helicopters. Team members L-3 Ruggedized Command and Controls Solutions, San Diego, will supply the multi-function displays and Smiths Aerospace, Grand Rapid, Mich., will supply the weapons stores control and data transfer system for the aircraft.

The AH-1Z and UH-1Y are upgraded versions of the Marine Corps AH-1W Cobra and UH-1N Huey helicopters, which have been in service for many years. The Marine Corps' plans for the new aircraft call for improvements in operational capability, interoperability, reliability and maintainability, while reducing total cost of ownership.

"The Northrop Grumman IAS will reduce the number of avionics components presently used on the AH-1W and UH-1N, and it is expected to substantially reduce repair time, training and logistic storage requirements. These improvements will become apparent when the helicopters are deployed on U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships and in forward deployed operating areas," Hossepian added.

The IAS includes identical Northrop Grumman mission computers that have been proven in over 3,000 flight hours of testing on the AH-1Z and UH-1Y. The dual redundant architecture of the new cockpit eliminates single points of failure, enhancing aircraft reliability and safety. The IAS will also reduce power consumption, component size and obsolescence management issues since the mission computers will handle all computing activity for the avionics system.

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:  Don Barteld
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (818) 712-6179
          don.barteld@ngc.com