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Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract to Develop Space Fence Technology

LINTHICUM, Md., July 13, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded the first phase of a $30 million firm-fixed price U.S. Air Force contract to develop a global space surveillance ground radar system.

The new S-Band Space Fence is part of the U.S. Department of Defense's effort to track and detect what is commonly referred to as resident space objects (RSO), consisting of thousands of pieces of "space debris" as well as commercial and military satellites. Space Fence will replace the current VHF Air Force Space Surveillance System built in 1961.

Space Fence will provide continuous, net-centric space situational awareness by detecting smaller objects in low and medium earth orbit. The current system requires constant sustainment intervention to maintain operations and does not address the growing population of small and micro satellites in orbit.

Rich Davis, director of special projects at Northrop Grumman's Advanced Concepts and Technology Division, said, "We are addressing a key mission, which signifies a leap forward in space situation awareness capability from that available today.

"The new Space Fence system will provide better accuracy and faster detection while allowing us to increase the number of satellites and other space objects that can be detected and tracked, thus avoiding collision and damage to other satellites."

Australia is a candidate for the first Space Fence location. Two additional sites in other parts of the world are also under consideration.

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:  Alleace Gibbs
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (410) 765-1294
          alleace.gibbs@ngc.com