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Northrop Grumman Supplies Integrated Bridge and Navigation System For U.S. Navy X-Craft

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb. 5, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has supplied its latest Integrated Bridge and Navigation System (IBNS) for the U.S. Navy's new Littoral Surface Craft -- Experimental, or "X-Craft," -- being christened today.

Developed by the Office of Naval Research, the X-Craft is an experimental high-speed, aluminum-hull catamaran that will be used to test a variety of technologies allowing the Navy to improve operations in littoral, or near-shore, waters.

The vessel's IBNS was designed, engineered, integrated and installed by Northrop Grumman's Sperry Marine business unit and integrates more than 200 separate bridge and navigation components. The IBNS includes a naval electronic chart display and information system, meeting the Navy's emerging standard for paperless charts, as well as a speed log, echo sounder, autopilot, radars, gyrocompasses, global positioning systems and weather sensors. The bridge system is also integrated with engine and steering control systems and closed-circuit TV that can be used to assist in docking.

Titan Corporation, the prime contractor for the X-Craft program, selected Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., of Freeland, Wash., to build the Nigel Gee & Associates-designed vessel. Nichols selected Sperry Marine to be the provider and integrator of the navigation bridge.

"Working under a tight six-month schedule, the Sperry Marine X-Craft team produced an innovative cockpit-style bridge designed specifically for the unique requirements of a high-speed naval craft operating in near-shore waters," said Steven Nordtvedt, X-Craft program manager, Titan Corporation. "Because the X-Craft will operate at speeds up to 50 knots, the IBNS is critical for optimal performance. For example, Sperry Marine's innovative bridge layout provides the ship's pilot and navigator with full control over multifunction display consoles from a seated position using ergonomic armrest controls."

John Peuplie, high-speed naval craft engineer, American Bureau of Shipping added, "The X-Craft IBNS is highly unique as an integrated bridge system that is designed to meet both the International Maritime Organization High Speed Craft Code and the American Bureau of Shipping Navigation and Integrated Bridge System requirements."

In keeping with the Navy's focus on transformation, the X-Craft's design incorporates mission flexibility -- it can be easily reconfigured to support a variety of missions. This is accomplished through the use of interchangeable mission modules -- standard twenty-foot containers -- housed in the craft's mission bay. Potential missions include battle-force protection, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious assault, humanitarian support or mine countermeasures. The X-Craft is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in April 2005 after extensive sea trials.

Sperry Marine, with worldwide headquarters in Charlottesville, Va., and major engineering and support offices in New Malden, U.K., and Hamburg, Germany, is part of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. Sperry Marine provides smart navigation and ship control solutions for the international marine industry with customer service and support through offices in 16 countries, sales representatives in 47 countries, and authorized service depots in more than 250 locations worldwide.

Headquartered in Baltimore, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space sensors, marine and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.

For commercial sales inquiries, contact Sperry Marine by phone, (434) 974-2656 or by e-mail, For military sales inquiries, call (434) 974-2134 or e-mail, Visit our web site at


Jim Rhodes 
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Angelique Rewers 
(410) 993-9838