updated 3/16/2011 1:18:13 PM ET 2011-03-16T17:18:13

MOSS POINT, Miss., March 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) completed the first of three fuselages for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program. The MQ-4C fuselage will undergo final assembly and system checkout at the company's Palmdale, Calif. facility ahead of its first flight next year.

"This milestone follows our successful Critical Design Review held last month and shows we are on track to meet our demonstration objectives," said Steve Enewold, Northrop Grumman vice president and program manager for BAMS. "The second fuselage is under construction at our Moss Point facility and will eventually be part of our three-ship SDD test program."

The Northrop Grumman BAMS UAS is a versatile maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system to support a variety of missions while operating independently or in direct collaboration with fleet assets.  When operational, BAMS will play a key role in providing commanders with a persistent, reliable picture of surface threats, covering vast areas of open ocean and littoral regions, significantly augmenting the use of other manned assets to execute surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.

The BAMS UAS program is managed by the Navy's Program Executive Office, Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons' Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-262), located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Northrop Grumman 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: Jim Stratford
         Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
         (321) 726-7526
         jim.stratford@ngc.com

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