LONDON, April 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation has launched the latest enhanced version of its industry-leading Wheelbarrow unmanned ground vehicle for the remote handling and surveillance of hazardous threats. The Wheelbarrow Mk9 vehicle, designed, developed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman in the UK, includes significant advances in technology and performance and a range of new features that will improve its capabilities for both civil security and defence applications.

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The Wheelbarrow Mk9 will be on display in Northrop Grumman's exhibit at Counter Terror Expo, the international exhibition and conference dedicated to addressing the continuing worldwide threat from terrorism. Counter Terror Expo takes place at the National Hall, Olympia, London from 14-15 April.

We are continually developing and expanding our products and their capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our military and civil security customers in detecting and disposing of improvised explosive devices and handling hazardous threats, said Kevin Rooney, managing director Unmanned Ground Vehicles for Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector in Europe. This latest design of our well proven Wheelbarrow vehicle combines greater speed, mobility, exceptional payload and reach capabilities with the latest control, communications and camera specifications to offer unsurpassed performance.

Key features of the Wheelbarrow Mk9 include: digital communications for improved quality and greater security; enhanced user-friendly command console with touch-screen facility and joystick control; wireless hand controller for local remote control and; greater functionality including preset positions. The vehicle also has a dedicated separate data channel for additional sensor integration. Its performance characteristics rank it among the most capable vehicles available in its class: it can climb a 45-degree stairway; has a modular telescopic arm with 7-degrees of freedom and a maximum reach of more than 6m; a maximum speed of 5km/hour; and a lift capacity of 150kg.

Wheelbarrow is one of the most capable and reliable unmanned ground vehicles in its class available today and has a proven record of success. It is recognised as the benchmark vehicle for remote disposal of improvised explosive devices and is product of choice for users around the world. Wheelbarrow was first used by British Army bomb disposal teams in the 1970s and since then it has gone through a number of design upgrades to extend capabilities and meet changing needs.

Northrop Grumman is the sole supplier to the UK MoD for this size of vehicle and is a partner to Police and military user organisations world-wide. The company has more than 2,000 unmanned ground vehicles in operation around the world.

Northrop Grumman's unmanned ground vehicle business has been established in Coventry for more than 20-years. Today the company designs, develops and manufactures some of the most capable and reliable unmanned ground vehicles available, from the Wheelbarrow bomb disposal robot to CUTLASS, the latest vehicle for hazardous operations in development for the MoD. Its wide range of vehicles can be configured according to the operational requirements of the user including explosive ordnance disposal, ground surveillance, hazardous material and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) missions. The vehicles are capable of full integration with command control system applications.

Northrop Grumman in the UK operates from a number of locations providing avionics, communications, electronic warfare systems, marine navigation systems, robotics, C4ISR solutions and mission planning, airport security, aircraft whole life support, IT systems and software development.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

SOURCE: Northrop Grumman Corporation

CONTACT: Ken Beedle of Northrop Grumman Corporation, +44-207-747-1910,+44-7787-174092,