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Northrop Grumman Makes Significant Updates to B-52 Electronic Warfare Self-Protection System

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., June 14, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has made the first in a series of important updates to the electronic warfare self-protection system onboard the U.S. Air Force's B-52 strategic bomber.

The updates involve the installation of digital replacement cards for the control indicator-programmer portion of the Northrop Grumman-produced AN/ALQ-155(V) electronic-countermeasures system. The AN/ALQ-155(V) is a combat-proven self-protection system that safeguards the B-52 Stratofortress against attack from both air- and ground-launched radar-guided weapons.

The AN/ALQ-155's control indicator programmer is the electronic warfare officer's primary means for controlling the operation of the ALQ-155 system. The new update cards replace older, less-reliable analog technology with digital technology that provides greater radio-frequency stability, lower initial costs, longer time between failures and requires no preventative maintenance support.

"The ALQ-155 has provided essential protection for the U.S. B-52 bomber fleet for all combat actions since the Gulf War," said Ev Pratt, vice president of Radar Frequency and Combat Information Systems at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division. "The installation of the new digital cards is the first step in a carefully planned sustainment-update process that will enable the ALQ-155 to continue fulfilling its vital role for the next several decades."

The digital replacement cards make use of field-programmable gate-array technology that allows them to be updated through software changes, thus avoiding expensive equipment replacement. The new cards also have the capability of updating the ALQ-155's self-protection techniques in minutes to adjust to evolving threats.

Future sustainment updates to the AN/ALQ-155 are expected to include: the insertion of modern, miniature microwave-power module-transmitter technology; the inclusion of integrated, monolithic microwave and digital exciter systems; and the use of additional commercial processors.

"Together, these updates will offer our B-52 crew members more effective protection, greater reliability and lower maintenance costs," Pratt said.

Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division is a component of Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector-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 logistic services.

CONTACT:  Katie Lamb
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems 
          (847) 259-9600, ext. 3542