Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract to Continue Design of Improved T-38 Wing

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 26, 2000 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems and Aerostructures (ISA) sector has been awarded a $3.2 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to continue designing an improved wing for the T-38 Talon supersonic trainer aircraft that would have double the structural life of today's T-38 wings.

The T-38 Wing Life Improvement Program began in 1997 with recommendations and detailed analysis of design improvements for certain areas on the wing. Under the newly awarded Phase IV contract, Northrop Grumman will build a test article wing using new design elements and newer, more fatigue-resistant aluminum alloys. At the same time, Northrop Grumman is preparing to build 55 replacement wings for the T-38. The test article wing and replacement wings will be built side-by-side at ISA's Air Combat Systems facilities in El Segundo.

"By using the same assembly line and skilled personnel to build the wing test article and replacement wings for the T-38, we will be able to offer the Air Force a reduced production start-up cost when the new wing is ready to be built," said Mike Major, Northrop Grumman's F-5/T-38 program manager.

More than 500 T-38s are currently operational with the Air Force and NASA, along with more than 100 internationally. The T-38 was first delivered to the Air Force in 1961, and the service plans to continue training pilots in the aircraft for the next four decades.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems and Aerostructures sector, headquartered in Dallas, Tex., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. ISA has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management aircraft, early warning aircraft, airborne electronic warfare aircraft, air combat aircraft, and commercial aerostructures.

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