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Northrop Grumman 'Tactical Internet' System Wins Award for Coalition Operations Support

RESTON, Va., April 27, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- A Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-developed system that provides joint coalition forces with a clear, continuous common operating picture of the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been honored as the "Best Program in Support of Coalition Operations."

The Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2)-Blue Force Tracking system and its Coalition Force Tracker variant received the award at the Battlespace Information 2005 conference in London last week.

FBCB2-Blue Force Tracking and Coalition Force Tracker are systems of ruggedized computer hardware and software that form a wireless "tactical Internet" on the battlefield, linking satellites, sensors, communications devices, vehicles, aircraft and weapons in a seamless, secure digital network. Coalition Force Tracker is interoperable with U.S. systems while complying with U.S. security measures.

NATO's Allied Command Transformation conducted "NATO Friendly Force Tracker," a seven-month experimental program in Afghanistan to assess how Coalition Force Tracker can benefit NATO commanders. Although the experiment officially ended in January, Coalition Force Tracker's demonstrated success resulted in its continuing operational use in the region today.

Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector, based in Reston, Va., is the prime contractor for FBCB2-Blue Force Tracking and Coalition Force Tracker.

"The importance of this award is magnified by a study released earlier this month by the Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation that detailed how Blue Force Tracking enhanced operational effectiveness for both American and British forces," said Otto Guenther, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Tactical Systems Division. "By providing a common operating picture -- that, the Pentagon said, was 'unprecedented in the history of warfare' -- the system allowed coalition forces to conduct decisive combat operations over unprecedented distances and speeds and also reduced fratricide."

Worldwide Business Research, which produced the Battlespace Information 2005 conference, established the awards to honor, recognize and promote initiatives that have made a significant contribution to network-centric warfare and support military transformation.

The award judges were: Maj. Gen. Ruud Van Dam, Assistant Chief of Staff, C4I, Allied Command Transformation, NATO Headquarters; Brig. Nigel Jackson, Director, Command and Battlespace Management, U.K. Ministry of Defence; retired U.S. Army Col. Fred Stein, Director, C3 Battlefield Networks, Mitre Corp.; and John Garstka, Assistant Director, Concepts and Operations, Office of Force Transformation, U.S. Department of Defense.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.

CONTACT:  Janis Lamar
          Northrop Grumman Mission Systems 
          (703) 345-7046
          janis.lamar@ngc.com