updated 11/14/2010 2:45:24 PM ET 2010-11-14T19:45:24

HERNDON, Va., Nov. 12, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to design, develop, integrate, test and support the Mode S upgrade to the Identification Friend or Foe Interrogator for the Sentry E-3D Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft based at RAF Waddington.

The IFF interrogator is a sophisticated airborne defense system that provides a long-range, rapid early warning and detection capability allowing discrimination between friendly and hostile forces. The Mode S system will enable the aircraft to be used in controlled airspace.

The contract modification for Mode S is valued at approximately $64 million over three years.

Work will be performed under Northrop Grumman's existing Sentry E-3D Whole Life Support Program (WLSP) and elements of the work were considered for buy or build and subsequent competitive subcontracts. It will be the largest modification the company has carried out to date for the Sentry aircraft fleet and will help maintain their compliance with future global air traffic management requirements.

"Our industry team's legacy of superior performance and our strong partnership with the MoD were undoubtedly paramount in our selection for what is the largest modification we have carried out to date for the Sentry program," said Tom Vice, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Technical Services. "This modernization program will maintain compliance with future global air traffic management requirements."

The work will be carried out at RAF Waddington, UK as well as at Northrop Grumman's facilities in Herndon, Va., Warner Robins, Ga., and Melbourne, Fla.

"This project is extremely significant for the continuing role of our AWACS platform," said Sandy McGregor, Sentry project team leader. "I am very pleased with the total team effort shown by the Sentry Project Team and our prime contractor Northrop Grumman to agree to this project."

Northrop Grumman delivers the WLSP for the Sentry E-3D AWACS fleet and is on contract until 2025. The company acts as the design organization, providing long term UK-based technical support to the program with approximately 50 engineers located at RAF Waddington. Working in partnership with the Sentry IPT, the Northrop Grumman team provides the complete range of through-life services needed to support the Sentry E-3D AWACS aircraft through to its out-of-service date. Northrop Grumman also provides the radar and in-service support for the radar. Members of Northrop Grumman's Joint Sentry Support Team include BAE Systems and AAR.  

Northrop Grumman in the UK operates from a number of locations: London, Fareham, Chester, Coventry, New Malden, Peterborough, RAF Waddington and Solihull, providing avionics, communications, electronic warfare systems, marine navigation systems, robotics, C4ISR solutions and mission planning, IT systems and software development.

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

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