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Northrop Grumman-Built Defense Support Program Satellites Receive National Security Space Award From California Space Authority

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Dec. 8, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The California Space Authority presented the Defense Support Program (DSP) with the SpotBeam Award for National Security Space, honoring DSP's nearly 40 years of service to the nation. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) built and integrated the DSP spacecraft at its Redondo Beach, Calif., space systems manufacturing facility; the company's facility in Azusa, Calif., built the infrared sensors.

Presenting the award Nov. 18 in Los Angeles, the Space Authority cited DSP's long history of achievement, program management excellence and execution provided by the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, and all 23 satellites built by Northrop Grumman. DSP has served the nation continuously since becoming operational in the early 1970s, monitoring the globe and detecting, characterizing and reporting on ballistic missile.

The SpotBeam award recognizes California space stakeholders who make extraordinary contributions to California's leadership in the U.S. and international space arenas.

"DSP has never faltered in its primary mission to provide early warning of intercontinental ballistic missile launches," said Dave DiCarlo, vice president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in remarks at the awards ceremony. "That is a record of service for a satellite program that few others can match. It is a testament to the teamwork and shared commitment between Northrop Grumman and the U.S Air Force."

As more nations have pursued ballistic missile programs, DSP remains a vital asset and continues to evolve to meet new threats. The program has delivered more than 160 years of value beyond the required three-year design life on-orbit to date. That's the equivalent of delivering 30-50 additional satellites without the cost of launch. Four significant upgrades and technical innovations have extended the life and effectiveness of the program.

In June, DSP celebrated the 20-year anniversary of Flight 14 on-orbit operations. Launched on June 14, 1989 on a Titan IV launch vehicle, DSP Flight 14 is the first of the current generation of DSP satellites.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

CONTACT:  Sally Koris
          Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
          310.812.4721 (o)
          310.567.5279 (m)
          sally.koris@ngc.com