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Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration Unmanned Aircraft Program Receives Prestigious U.S. Navy Test Team Award

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 23, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) RQ-4 Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD) team was recently named Test Team of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2008 by the U.S. Navy's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20. The team won the coveted award for their impressive achievements during the first half of the year.

Photos accompanying this release are available at: http://media.primezone.com/noc/.

"The GHMD test team has laid the operational, tactical and doctrinal foundation for future unmanned maritime surveillance systems and is an outstanding example of a dedicated team supporting the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) mission of providing the best possible weapon system to the warfighter," said Capt. Bob Dishman, program manager of Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-262) for NAVAIR. "Their willingness to go above and beyond all expectations as evident in their long list of successes is commendable."

The team's accomplishments included performing more than 1,000 hours of flight operations over an 18-month period, troubleshooting issues with the communications system, integrating the automatic identification system into the aircraft, conducting tests with the ocean surveillance initiative, and developing tactics and guidelines for unmanned patrol systems.

"From integrating the Navy Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft into national airspace to providing hurricane and fire support surveillance missions, the GHMD team is having yet another triumphant year demonstrating the system's flexibility and persistence," said Terry Barefoot, GHMD program manager for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "With the first class of Navy pilots currently training alongside Air Force pilots at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., we will be better prepared for future extended missions and sustained deployments."

From January to June 2008, the team also supported various operational activities, including the Southeastern Anti-Submarine Warfare Initiative 08-2, the USS Iwo Jima Group Sail, and the Commander Carrier Strike Group 8. The team's successes during this period culminated with the Trident Warrior exercise in June when the team flew more than 113 hours over a five-week period, including a scheduled 25.5-hour maritime mission off the coast of California and Hawaii from a ground station at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and an unplanned 23-hour humanitarian mission in which a GHMD was re-tasked to assist in the Northern California wildfires.

Capable of soaring up to 65,000 feet for more than 35 hours, a GHMD system was deployed to Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, Calif., in late May to support Trident Warrior and the ensuing Rim of the Pacific 2008 fleet exercise in July when the system completed four missions totaling more than 92 hours. To date, the two GHMD aircraft have flown more than 1,350 hours.

The principal Global Hawk team members include: Aurora Flight Sciences, Bridgeport, West Va. (V-tail assembly and other composite structures); L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah (communication system); Raytheon Company, Waltham, Mass. (integrated sensor suite and ground station); Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis, Ind. (engine); and Vought Aircraft Industries, Dallas, Texas (wing).

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a 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:  Gemma Loochkartt
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (858) 618-4245
          Cell (858) 335-0694
          gemma.loochkartt@ngc.com
 
Images
GHMD Point Mugu deployment
A U.S. Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk is deployed to Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, Calif., in support of the Trident Warrior and Rim of the Pacific 2008 fleet exercises. Photo credit: Richard Andresano, Northrop Grumman


GHMD test team
The U.S. Navy awards the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration team with the coveted Test Team of the Quarter Award for their outstanding achievements during the second half of 2008. Photo credit: Richard Andresano, Northrop Grumman