updated 1/24/2011 3:17:43 PM ET 2011-01-24T20:17:43

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Jan. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today announced the ahead-of-schedule delivery to the U.S. Navy of the company's 2,000th Viper™ laser which provides the jamming energy for the company's battle-proven infrared countermeasures (IRCM) applications.

The Department of the Navy Large Aircraft IRCM (DoN LAIRCM) system currently employed on U.S. Marine Corps helicopters protects aircrews and aircraft from the threat of shoulder-launched, heat-seeking missiles. Program deliveries were made several months ahead-of-schedule.

Viper™ is a small, lightweight multi-band laser that draws minimal power from the aircraft, yet provides the jamming power output required to protect rotary-wing aircraft, large transport aircraft and fast jets whose infrared (IR) signatures make them especially vulnerable to IR-guided missiles. All Viper™ components fit in a 13-inch diameter by two-inch high chassis, weighing less than 10 pounds, the lightest laser available for IRCM applications. 

"Protecting our troops in combat is our number one mission," said Carl Smith, vice president of infrared countermeasures programs at Northrop Grumman's Land and Self Protection Systems Division. "This latest milestone, a result of our recently doubled manufacturing capacity, further demonstrates our commitment to our warfighting customers and the confidence our customers have in our technology and capabilities."

 Northrop Grumman's IRCM systems are the only such aircraft protection systems currently in full scale production and installed on over 500 military aircraft to protect approximately 50 different rotary-wing platforms and large fixed-wing transports from heat-seeking missile attacks. The system functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat to the aircraft and activating a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.

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: Ellen Hamilton
         Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
         (224) 625-4693
         ellen.hamilton@ngc.com

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