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Northrop Grumman Selected to Provide Link Middleware Software for Navy MH-60 Helicopters

SAN DIEGO, May 26, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) to provide communications software for the U.S. Navy's new MH-60R and MH-60S multimission helicopters.

Northrop Grumman's network middleware will bridge aircraft communications system and Link 16, a tactical data-link network that transmits voice, data and navigational information. The software will enable the aircraft to digitally communicate with other tactical systems during operations.

Under the $3.8 million, 2-year contract, Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector will design, develop, test and, if follow-on options are awarded, maintain the software.

"This award builds on our achievements developing common software for Link 16 platform integration," said Mike Twyman, vice president of the Mission Systems sector's communication and information systems business unit. "Ultimately, our innovative implementation will enable a seamless migration to the Common Link Integration Processing (CLIP) system when that software is complete."

CLIP is a U.S. Air Force and Navy effort to develop common software and common-link processing that consolidates tactical data links to ensure interoperability among various aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and other platforms. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), the command, control, communications, computer and intelligence branch of the Navy, is expected to award the CLIP contract in May.

Northrop Grumman's middleware application isolates the MH-60's software from the details of the Link 16 communications through a common host interface. This interface reduces the cost of software development for the helicopter's systems and enhances interoperable communications with other platforms.

"Winning this contract enhances Northrop Grumman's position as the leading supplier of systems and software that support Link 16 operations and testing," said Barry Rhine, vice president and general manager of the sector's Defense Mission Systems unit. Northrop Grumman developed comparable software for other platforms, mostly recently the B-2 stealth bomber.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems will develop the MH-60 software at its facilities in San Diego and integrate it at Lockheed Martin's Owego, N.Y. facilities.

Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego, the Air Weapons Systems Integration prime contractor for the MH-60R, recently received a contract for the first phase of a multi-year program to upgrade the communications capabilities of the Navy's MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil 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; technical services; and training.

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