updated 9/19/2010 6:45:52 PM ET 2010-09-19T22:45:52

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 17, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Michael B. Leahy, Jr., was honored as this year's recipient for the 2010 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' (AIAA) Hap Arnold Award for excellence in aeronautical program management in a ceremony at the 10th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations (ATIO) Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The AIAA is the principal professional society of aerospace engineers and scientists. 

The Hap Arnold Award is named in honor of General Henry "Hap" Arnold, a lifelong devotee to the concept of air power who served as Chief of the Army Air Corps and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces prior to and during World War II. This national award is presented annually to an individual for outstanding contributions in the management of a significant aeronautical- or aeronautical-related program or project.

Leahy was honored for "outstanding contributions to the development of unmanned combat air vehicles and leadership in Air Force technology development and investment planning processes," according to the award citation.

Leahy, a retired Air Force colonel, currently leads Northrop Grumman's Advanced Programs and Technology (AP&T) Division's common mission management system (CMMS). CMMS provides warfighters with common and interoperable mission management, mission planning, weapons control, and C2ISR capabilities to use unmanned systems effectively and efficiently.

"This extraordinary recognition is truly a testament to Michael's leadership and ability to successfully push the limits of technology and operational concepts," said Paul Meyer, sector vice president and general manager for the AP&T Division of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "His outstanding contributions to the development and demonstration of unmanned air vehicles, and success leading both demonstration and technology programs serve as highlights to a remarkable career."

Leahy earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Mexico, a master's degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.           

The AIAA ATIO brings together aviation professionals, practicing engineers, researchers, and policymakers to explore ideas, share research, and create interactive opportunities in response to new paradigms in technology, innovative aircraft configurations and design solutions, and new operational systems. 

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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