Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Demonstrate Precision, Wireless Ground Handling of X-47B Unmanned Aircraft

Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Demonstrate Precision, Wireless
Ground Handling of X-47B Unmanned Aircraft

Maneuvers With Handheld Controller Build Confidence for Future Trials on
Carrier Deck

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Nov. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Navy have taken a first
critical step toward demonstrating that the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System
(UCAS) demonstrator can be maneuvered safely and wirelessly on the crowded
deck of an aircraft carrier.

Control Display Unit (a)
 In early November, Northrop Grumman and
 U.S. Navy successfully completed
 shore-based trials of a new wireless,
 handheld device that will allow deck
 operators to maneuver the X-47B
 unmanned aircraft by remote control on
 the carrier deck. The tests were
 conducted at Naval Air Station Patuxent
 River, Md. The operation of the new
 control device will be validated in an
 actual carrier environment later this
 year.

Control Display Unit (b)
 In practice, a deck operator will work
 in tandem with the flight deck director
 - aka a "yellow shirt" - to
 move the X-47B using the wireless
 control device. The director will use
 traditional hand signals to indicate
 how the aircraft should move. The deck
 operator will stand behind the director
 and use the control device to duplicate
 the director’s instructions as
 digital commands to the aircraft.

Photos accompanying this release are available at
http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/mediagallery.html?pkgid=15766.

In early November, the team successfully completed its first shore-based
trials of a new wireless, handheld device called a Control Display Unit (CDU).
Developed by Northrop Grumman, the device will allow deck operators to
maneuver the X-47B by remote control on the carrier deck.

The team demonstrated the CDU's ability to control the X-47B's engine thrust;
to roll the aircraft forward, brake and stop; to use its nose wheel steering
to execute tight, precision turns; and to maneuver the aircraft efficiently
into a catapult or out of the landing area following a mock carrier landing.

Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the UCAS Carrier
Demonstration (UCAS-D) program.

"The CDU is fundamental to integrating the X-47B seamlessly into carrier deck
operations," said Daryl Martis, Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D test director. "It
will allow us to move the aircraft quickly and precisely into the catapult for
launch, or out of the landing area following recovery. Both of these
activities are essential to maintaining the rhythm of the flight deck."

In practice, a deck operator will work in tandem with the flight deck director
– aka a "yellow shirt" – to move the X-47B via the CDU to a designated flight
deck location. Standing in front of the aircraft, the director will use
traditional hand signals to indicate how, when and where the aircraft should
move, the same way he would communicate with a pilot in a manned aircraft. The
deck operator will stand behind the director and use the CDU to duplicate the
director's instructions as digital commands to the aircraft.

According to Martis, the CDU will help streamline and, in fact, enable many of
the flight test operations required for UCAS-D shore-based carrier suitability
testing.

"Instead of towing the aircraft out to the flight line, we can now start the
X-47B outside its hangar, then use the CDU to taxi it out to the runway, or
into a catapult for launch," he said. "Use of the CDU is the most
time-efficient way to move the X-47B into the catapult or disengage it from
the arresting gear after landing."

The UCAS-D program plans to conduct its first shore-based catapults of X-47B
aircraft later this month. That testing will be followed by hoisting an X-47B
aboard an aircraft carrier, and using it to validate the performance of the
CDU in an actual carrier environment.

In 2013, the program plans to demonstrate the ability of an X-47B to safely
operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, and air
traffic control operations. The program also plans to mature technologies
required for potential future Navy unmanned air system programs. For the
latest X-47B news and information, please visit
www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/nucasx47b/.

Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D industry team includes GKN Aerospace, Lockheed
Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell,
Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace and Rockwell Collins.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative
systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and
logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

CONTACT: Brooks McKinney, APR
         310-331-6610 (office)
         310-864-3785 (mobile)
         brooks.mckinney@ngc.com

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