Media Invited to Attend New Orleans (LPD 18) Christening at Northrop Grumman

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 15, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- On Saturday Nov. 20, U.S. Navy Adm. Vernon Clark chief of Naval Operations, will give the principal address at the christening of New Orleans (LPD 18), an amphibious transport dock ship being built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC).

The ceremony will be held at the company's New Orleans shipyard.

The name New Orleans, recognizes the largest city in Louisiana, and honors one of the world's largest ports. Navy Cmdr. Brad Skillman, a native of Muncie, Ind., is New Orleans' prospective commanding officer. The ship is scheduled for commissioning in 2005 and will be the first ship of the class to be homeported in San Diego.

New Orleans (LPD 18) is the second ship in the San Antonio (LPD 17)-class of amphibious transport dock ships being built for the Navy/U.S. Marine Corps team by Northrop Grumman. Construction is taking place at the company's New Orleans shipyard with fabrication and additional support from three other company facilities: Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss., and Tallulah, La.

Displacing nearly 25,000 tons, these ships will be the second largest ships in the Navy's 21st Century Expeditionary Strike Groups. New Orleans will have a crew of 360 Sailors and 3 Marines and can carry up to 699 troops with a surge capability of up to 800.

 Who:       Northrop Grumman Ship Systems

 What:      Christening, New Orleans (LPD 18)

 When:      Saturday Nov. 20,
            Media should arrive by 10:30 a.m.

            Ceremony begins promptly at 11 a.m.

 Sponsor:   Carolyn Shelton, wife of U.S. Army Gen. Henry Shelton
            (Ret.), the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

 Speakers:  U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La)

            Assistant Navy Secretary, for research, development and
            acquisition, John J. Young,

            Navy Rear Adm. Charles S. Hamilton, program executive
            officer for ships

            Navy Capt. David Bella, supervisor of shipbuilding for
            the Gulf Coast

            Philip A. Dur, president, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems

            Dan Smith, president, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems

            George Yount, sector vice president of operations,
            Northrop Grumman Ship Systems.

 Where:     Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
            5110 River Road

 RSVP to:   Paige Eaton
            (504) 436-5461


The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships are 684 feet (208.5 meters) long and 105 feet (31.9 meters) wide and will replace the functions of four classes of older amphibious ships. This new class of ship affords the U.S. Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) with the technology and flexibility to launch and recover amphibious landing craft such as the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC), operate an array of rotary-wing aircraft, as well as the ability to carry and launch the Marine Corp's Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; and in New Orleans and Tallulah, La., as well as in a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. Ship Systems is one of the nation's leading full-service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction and life-cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies.

CONTACT:  Paige Eaton
          Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
          (504) 436-5461

Danny Hernandez
Director of Public Affairs
(202) 580-9086