Northrop Grumman's California Microwave Systems Rolls Out Fifth U.S. Army ARL-M Aircraft

Falls Church, Virginia, UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 29, 2000 (PRIMEZONE) -- California Microwave Systems (CMS), a unit of Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector, rolled out the U.S. Army's first full capability, RC-7B Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Multifunction (ARL-M) aircraft today at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The design includes significant advancements in sensor technology. This fifth aircraft in the ARL-M series is the first to feature the complete multifunction, multimission performance originally envisioned by the Army. The Army's 1993 plans for combining the imagery intelligence and electronic support sensors of the first generation ARL-I and ARL-C were designed to create the ARL-M, which is a modified, commercial four-engine de Havilland DHC-7 aircraft.

Modification of the aircraft and integration of multiple sensor systems and workstations is performed at the CMS facility in Hagerstown, Md. Work on the initial ARL five aircraft program began in 1991. Congress has recently appropriated funds for a sixth aircraft.

The ARL-M system is a manned airborne collection platform comprised of imagery, radar, communications intelligence, data links and communications systems that provide near real-time intelligence information to the tactical commander.

"With the delivery of this aircraft, the U.S. Army will have the benefit of a completely new electronic support capability based on a new target acquisition and direction finding system coupled with Northrop Grumman-designed integration and operator interfaces," said George B. Michel, CMS vice president-Airborne Systems. "The state-of-the-art sensors on this aircraft include a synthetic aperture and moving target indicator radar, an electro optic and infrared system, infrared line scanner and electronic support system with precise direction-finding and onboard processing."

Northrop Grumman was awarded an Army contract earlier this year to retrofit the first three ARL-M aircraft with a Wescam M-20 forward-looking infrared sensor and a wideband tactical common data link (TCDL) by year end.

The M-20 sensor upgrade will standardize the Army's aircraft with other ARL-M systems available for worldwide deployment. The TCDL installation will be a first for the ARL multifunction system by providing a wideband data link for timely dissemination of intelligence products to ground stations.

California Microwave Systems specializes in the integration of airborne reconnaissance and surveillance systems, government ground-based satellite communications systems, communications gateway systems and mission planning. The group's customers include the U.S. military services, other U.S. government agencies and international defense organizations.

Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics and systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, marine systems, and automation and information systems.

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