updated 2/24/2011 12:16:39 PM ET 2011-02-24T17:16:39

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Feb. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), in partnership with the University of Minnesota, has been selected to develop a collaborative navigation system under the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Collaborative Robust Integrated Sensor Positioning Program.

Collaborative navigation will allow aircraft to leverage information from their onboard sensors in addition to shared data from other aircraft to achieve highly accurate navigation performance in all flight conditions, even in areas where global positioning system (GPS) information is unavailable.

During the initial award period, Northrop Grumman and the University of Minnesota will develop algorithms that will enable the collaborative navigation system to operate across multiple aircraft platforms. By sharing relative positioning information, video, geo-registered imagery, and other navigation data using the net-centric communication capabilities on the platforms, the collaborative navigation system will improve overall navigational accuracy.

"Extending current methods of own-ship navigation to a collaborative environment will offer tangible benefits to the warfighter by providing highly accurate navigation information in all environments, with or without GPS assistance," said Charles Volk, vice president and chief technology officer of Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division. "The collaborative navigation solution that Northrop Grumman and the University of Minnesota have developed represents state-of-the-art and innovative use of net-centric operations and layered sensing for navigation."

AFRL's Collaborative Robust Integrated Sensor Positioning program seeks to develop navigation technologies to improve situational awareness of the warfighter in all operating conditions. Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, was awarded a research and development contract for the preliminary design of collaborative navigation algorithms. Future phases of the program will include the development of a real-time prototype collaborative navigation system and a flight test demonstration.

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: Gina Piellusch
         Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
         (818) 715-2285
         gina.piellusch@ngc.com

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