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Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Move Closer to Initial Flight Testing of New Radar Antenna for B-2 Stealth Bomber

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 12, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), working closely with Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN), has reached three milestones in a program to modernize the B-2 stealth bomber's radar system with an advanced, more reliable antenna. These achievements represent significant progress towards initial flight testing of the radar.

In recent weeks, the B-2 radar-modernization team passed a final design review by the U.S. Air Force; delivered the first test model of the radar for integration, test and software development and completed a suite of tests that proves the hardware and software work together as one subsystem.

Northrop Grumman, prime contractor for the overall B-2 program, also leads the radar-modernization team that includes Raytheon, the radar-system provider. The effort will replace the current antenna with an active, electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna.

"Radar modernization is one of a series of programs Northrop Grumman and the Air Force are conducting to enhance the B-2's ability to respond to emerging worldwide threats as a key element of the military's network-centric warfare concept," said Gene Fraser, vice president and B-2 program manager at Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector.

The final design review concluded in late May with the Air Force finding the radar-system's design in compliance with engineering and performance requirements.

In July, Raytheon delivered on schedule the first model of its APQ-181 radar. The APQ-181 is one of a series of revolutionary AESA radar systems that are replacing mechanically scanned antennas with faster and more-reliable solid-state arrays.

"At the heart of the APQ-181 are transmit/receive modules that are cheaper, lighter and more advanced," said Erv Grau, vice president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. "In addition, this radar has features that will help the stealthy B-2 continue to penetrate the most sophisticated air defenses."

Following the radar delivery, the B-2 team completed initial radar-subsystem integration and acceptance testing ahead of schedule, paving the way for higher-level system integration and performance tuning.

The current B-2 radar work is part of a $382 million system development and demonstration (SDD) contract awarded by the Air Force in 2004. During the SDD phase, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are developing and testing the radar and will install six systems on operational B-2 aircraft of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. This phase will be followed by production to field the new radar and install the new antenna into the B-2 fleet.

Northrop Grumman's B-2 program is based in Palmdale, Calif., and Raytheon's work is based in El Segundo, Calif.

In addition to Raytheon, Northrop Grumman's subcontractors include Lockheed Martin Corporation in Owego, N.Y., for defensive-management system modifications and BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration in Greenlawn, N.Y., for radar-transponder modifications.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems is the leading provider of sensor systems, which give war fighters the most accurate and timely information available for the network-centric battlefield. With 2004 revenues of $4 billion and 13,000 employees, SAS is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with additional facilities in Goleta, Calif.; Forest, Miss.; Dallas, McKinney and Plano, Texas, and several international locations.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use in networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.

CONTACT:  Jim Hart
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems 
          (310) 331-3616
          james.f.hart@ngc.com