Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Firebird is able to operate with or without a pilot. The spy plane’s focus is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. However, it can also carry weapons.

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Firebird is able to operate with or without a pilot. The spy plane’s focus is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. However, it can also carry weapons.

NORTHROP GRUMMAN

CEO: Wes Bush.

Revenue: $34.8 billion in 2010; $33.8 billion in 2009.

Net income: $2.05 billion in 2010; $1.69 billion in 2009.

No. of local employees: Several thousand. Northrop had 4,800 local employees prior to March, when it spun off its ship repair and shipbuilding business as Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.

Investors: Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange as NOC.

Headquarters: Los Angeles.

Year founded: 1939, as Northrop Aircraft Co.

What makes the company innovative: Its new Firebird aircraft has two innovations. It can operate with or without a pilot. Also, a new, “plug and play” open architecture supports its data-collecting electronics.

Flexibility is the watchword for Northrop Grumman Corp...

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