updated 8/31/2010 4:45:55 PM ET 2010-08-31T20:45:55

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 31, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the San Diego chapter of the National Defense Industry Association hosted an event for approximately 100 small businesses to provide them with valuable information about how they might play a role in future opportunities.

The July 22 event featured briefings from all Northrop Grumman business sectors on current San Diego programs, forecasted program needs and the company's mission. The participants also engaged in a "matchmaking" session, in which each small business was matched with a Northrop Grumman representative to discuss current and future Northrop Grumman business.

"The small businesses really liked our event's face-to-face approach and appreciated getting straight-forward information on the programs we are going to pursue," said John Pettitt, Northrop Grumman corporate lead executive for San Diego and facilitator of the event. "We generated a lot of excitement and look forward to greater small business participation in our solutions for our customers."

Northrop Grumman also gave an overview of SPEED (Small Business Program for Engineering, Experimentation and Deployment), the company's program designed to assist small businesses in developing and deploying technology into current and future programs. SPEED allows small businesses to take advantage of Northrop Grumman's C2 Futures Lab, part of a nationwide network of research and development nodes. The lab's true open systems infrastructure provides a framework for maturing innovative technologies for insertion and integration into programs of record.

The participants also heard about Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES), a major opportunity and a program supported by the C2 Futures Lab. CANES, which will streamline and update shipboard network systems to improve interoperability and affordability across the fleet, is one of the major successes of SPEED with significant small business participation in the program.

"The participants got excellent and useful information," said Faye Esaias, director of small business programs for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego. "The event was very well done and I was glad to support it."

The results of a survey, sent to the event's small business participants, show that small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, veteran-owned small businesses, HUB-zone small businesses, 8a and Alaska Native Corporation or Indian Tribe businesses attended the event. The attendees included companies that already serve Northrop Grumman as a supplier, vendor or subcontractor as well as companies that have not previously worked with the company.

Northrop Grumman plans to host similar events on an annual basis.  The company will also hold events targeted to specific types of small business throughout the year.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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