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19 Jul 04. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Manassas, Va.-based Aurora Flight Sciences today announced a landmark collaborative business agreement to design, develop and produce tactical, long endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) systems based on Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)-developed UAVs.

The agreement, which addresses growing worldwide demand for UAV systems, marks Northrop Grumman’s entry into the tactical, long endurance UAV market.It will allow the company to rapidly develop affordable UAV systems for a broader, more diverse set of military and civilian missions.

Under the agreement, Aurora will produce IAI-developed tactical, long endurance UAVs in the U.S. for Northrop Grumman. As prime contractor, Northrop Grumman will equip the UAVs with mission-specific subsystems, then integrate them into system architectures that can support evolving U.S. government surveillance, battle management, and command and control requirements. The company will also insert new technologies, as appropriate, to meet mission requirements, and provide all required logistic support.

“Northrop Grumman, Israel Aircraft Industries and Aurora Flight Sciences share a legacy of leadership and innovation in the UAV industry,” said Scott J. Seymour, president of Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector. “Our combined talents and technologies will enable new UAV systems solutions that will challenge the industry’s status quo. Our collaboration will spark competition and new ideas that will lead to new, more cost effective and more technologically advanced systems for the men and women of the armed services who daily risk their lives supporting the global war on terrorism.”

“The collaboration between these three companies will broaden our activities to new frontiers and act as a force multiplier,” said Moshe Keret, IAI’s president and chief executive officer. “IAI views this alliance as a long term commitment to develop and produce innovative tactical UAVs that will benefit the companies’ customers. The company has worldwide recognition for its UAVs, which are supplied to the Israel Ministry of Defense and to foreign customers.”

“Aurora Flight Sciences has spent 15 years developing and producing critical UAV structures for significant U.S. military and civil UAV programs including Global Hawk,” said Dr. John S. Langford, the company’s president and founder. “We will leverage our experience, people and technology in this new business arrangement to help Northrop Grumman produce and deliver cost-effective new UAV solutions to U.S. markets.”

Each of the companies involved in this new business arrangement brings unique skills and capabilities to the alliance.

Aurora Flight Sciences, producer of the GoldenEye-100 UAV, is currently one of Northrop Grumman’s major subcontractors on the Global Hawk program. It produces Global Hawk’s V-tail structure and other composite elements for the air vehicle.

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