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Northrop Grumman's Hawkeye Aircraft Leads Rescue Efforts After Hurricane Katrina

BETHPAGE, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management system has proven itself again as a tremendous national investment not only for combat operations but also for peacetime operations. These include rescue missions after natural disasters, a nation's homeland security and shipping-lane-protection operations, among others.

The Hawkeye system demonstrated is value once again after Hurricane Katrina struck the city of New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005 with winds in excess of 140 mph. Sections of the levees that protected New Orleans failed and 80 percent of the city was under 20 feet of water, knocking out parts of the power grid and air traffic control infrastructure.

The Hawkeyes were among the first on the scene and the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and other governmental organizations depended on the E-2Cs for support to communicate with the Gulf region. According to the Navy, the Hawkeye system's unparalleled radar and communications suite were used to monitor airspace, locate stranded victims, direct rescues, locate standing buildings, identify space for safe landings and provide direction for aircraft activity in the area.

Six Hawkeye aircraft from one Navy reserve and two Navy squadrons coordinated the rescue effort of people isolated and threatened by flood waters.

The E-2Cs helped evacuate victims from the New Orleans Convention Center, the Superdome, highway overpasses and roofs of homes. Hawkeye crews also coordinated food drops at a city hall and a grocery store where hungry and dehydrated citizens had congregated. During a two-hour period on Sept. 4, Hawkeye crews coordinated the rescue of more than 400 people, two major food drops and four medical evacuations.

The Hawkeyes were airborne around the clock for about a week after the hurricane hit, controlling the airborne rescue effort, which included the helicopter rescues that became regular images in the news coverage of the catastrophe. They also managed the ancillary traffic, such as news helicopters and official's aircraft and supported Navy and Air Force missions, including airborne command-and-control coverage for Air Force One during President George W. Bush's visits to the area.

"Hawkeye is an investment in a nation's security, whether that security is threatened by an uncontrollably belligerent neighbor or the uncontrollable forces of nature," said Tim Farrell, vice president of Airborne Early Warning Programs for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise with the capabilities to design, develop, produce and support fully missionized integrated systems and subsystems. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services in support of chosen segments within the broad market areas of battlespace awareness, command and control systems and integrated combat systems.

CONTACT:  John A. Vosilla
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (516) 575-5119
          John.Vosilla@ngc.com