updated 12/1/2010 10:16:44 AM ET 2010-12-01T15:16:44

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered the first production Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor to Edwards Air Force Base for integration on the first U.S. Air Force Block 40 Global Hawk. The first MP-RTIP Global Hawk flight is scheduled to occur by early 2011.

The MP-RTIP technology is unprecedented and unique in its ability to provide critical coverage for the warfighter. MP-RTIP's unique application of advanced technologies can detect multiple stopped, slow and fast-moving objects on the ground in any weather, day or night. This capability combined with the endurance of the Block 40 Global Hawk provides the warfighter with more than 30 hours of greatly improved situational awareness and combat identification per mission.

"The MP-RTIP equipped Global Hawk is an unprecedented combination because it provides greater situational awareness for the warfighter," said George Guerra, vice president High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) programs. "We are currently on track leading up to first flight and look forward to meeting all upcoming milestones to ensure we provide this critical resource to the warfighter as quickly as possible."

Global Hawk's range, endurance and large payload capabilities are well suited to provide persistent surveillance with MP-RTIP. Flying at altitudes up to 60,000 feet for more than 30 hours per sortie at speeds approaching 340 knots, the MP-RTIP-equipped Block 40 Global Hawk can persistently see through most types of weather, day or night. As the world's first fully autonomous HALE UAS, Global Hawk is the platform of choice for a wide variety of sensors, foreign and domestic, meeting the global need for persistent ISR.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is the prime contractor for the Global Hawk and MP-RTIP programs and continues to move these technologies forward under the stewardship of the Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and Electronic Systems Command at Hanscom AFB. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems' Norwalk, Conn., facility is teamed with Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif. to develop, produce and deliver the radar.

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is also prime contractor for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (NATO AGS) system, in which the RQ-4 Block 40 is a key component and managed at the company's Melbourne, Fla. facility.

Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk program is managed at its Aerospace Systems' Unmanned Systems Development Center in San Diego. The company performs Global Hawk sub-assembly work at its Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss., and final assembly at its Antelope Valley Manufacturing Center in Palmdale, Calif.

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.

CONTACT:  Sherri Pineda Hargrove
          Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
          (858) 618-4556
          sherri.hargrove@ngc.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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