ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, January 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Tapping into leading intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) experts across the United Arab Emirates and its allied partners, senior military leaders and Northrop Grumman executives convened the first Middle Eastern ISR conference of its kind today to discuss the benefits and challenges of the growing need for more netted ISR assets to help manage today's threats, particularly in the Gulf region.

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Northrop Grumman's participation in the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) Middle East Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance conference is significant for several reasons. It is the signature ISR event supported by the UAE Armed Forces leadership, and when renowned, high-level international military and industry experts gather to discuss the challenges and technological solutions within this rapidly advancing field, it is very beneficial to all who attend, said John Brooks, president of Northrop Grumman International, Inc. and retired Major General, U.S. Air Force.

Speakers included Major General Khamees Salem Mohammad Al Mazrahy, Director of Operations and Training, Office of the Minister of Defense for Military Affairs, UAE Ministry of Defense; Lieutenant General Michael Hostage, Commander, U.S. Air Force Central Command; General (Ret.) Khaled Abdullah Al Bu-Ainnain, Former Commander, UAE Air Force and Air Defense; Rear Admiral Jean Goursaud, Deputy Director of Military Intelligence, French Ministry of Defense; General (Ret.) Khaled Abdullah Al Bu-Ainnain, Former Commander, UAE Air Force and Air Defense; Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, ICT Advisor, UAE Centre of Excellence; General (Ret.) John Jumper, Former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force; Brigadier General Nicola Gelao, Head of Military Intelligence, Italian Ministry of Defense; and Major General (Ret.) Abdullah Al-Sayed Al-Hashemi, Former Deputy Commander, UAE Air Force and Air Defense.

The dialogue between panelists and the audience addressed a variety of challenges from conventional to irregular warfare, the technologies suited to meet those mission requirements, and the growing need for more interoperability and data analysis, Brooks said. Northrop Grumman understands how to bring together a variety of technologies from manned and unmanned systems; communications and surveillance satellites; surveillance radars; as well as network-centric data processing and dissemination to make ISR all work seamlessly. That is a great benefit to the UAE and other Gulf States, and it is why we have a leadership role here today.

We all recognize how state and non-state actors, and hostile interest groups are transforming theaters of operation across the globe, Brooks said. Northrop Grumman's leadership in developing and integrating advanced ISR capabilities for its customers can be of critical benefit to the UAE and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in helping them to network their assets to overcome the prevalent and emerging defense and security challenges in the region. National and regional security in an increasingly politically volatile region is necessitating more capable surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as integration within 'system of systems' architectures to enable enhanced intelligence-sharing.

Brooks said the UAE derives many benefits from a close working relationship and partnership with Northrop Grumman. Not only does the UAE derive the benefits of economies of scale in the purchase of technologies from our company that are also sold to U.S. military and other allied forces, but also the UAE Air Force gains the value of long-term technology road maps already in place for our U.S. and international military customers, he said. As we upgrade technology found in aircraft weapon systems like the airborne early warning capability of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and ISR technologies of the vertical takeoff MQ-8B Fire Scout for the United States Navy, the UAE Air Force can also benefit from those investments. This is very important.

The conference, according to INEGMA officials, is one more example that demonstrates Northrop Grumman's long term commitment to the region. A second conference is now being planned for 2011.

Sustained peace and prosperity for the UAE and their fellow GCC member countries -- Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia -- is a common goal for all, Brooks said. Northrop Grumman's technology leadership in many areas, its diverse line of product offerings, and its continued investment in new technology growth like composites and alternative energy, enable the UAE and GCC leadership to selectively choose what capabilities they need for today and tomorrow with little constraint, he added. It adds even further dimension to our more-than decade-long relationship with the UAE.

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: Dianne Baumert-Moyik of Northrop Grumman Corporation,+1-516-754-2645, Dianne.baumert-moyik@ngc.com