PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 12, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) held a shipbuilding supplier event here today to discuss the value of shipbuilding to the region, the current status of the shipbuilding industrial base, and some of the challenges ahead. Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Mike Petters addressed a gathering of over 100 people, representing many of the nearly 400 shipbuilding suppliers from the Mid-Atlantic region, including from eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware and northern Maryland. He discussed the importance of the naval shipbuilding supplier base, the future of shipbuilding and the implications of the U.S. Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan. This was the second of several planned supplier meetings to be held across the country in the coming months. "Our supplier community is critical to our success and in fact, about one third of our cost to build these ships is spent outside of our gates," said Petters. "Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding spends more than $2 billion annually for materials and services with the supply chain community. Of that, more than $713 million has been spent since 2008, through partnerships with nearly 400 different suppliers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. So you can see, just by the numbers alone, that our suppliers are valuable members of the shipbuilding team and an important part of what we do to help our Navy to keep our country safe." "It's our job to build the ships the Navy determines it needs to fulfill its missions in the most cost-efficient manner, meeting schedule commitments and incorporating high quality," said Petters. "From the steel that is laid for the ship's keel, to the thousands of valves and miles of pipe and cable that run throughout the ship's structure, to the smallest bolt that holds together a sailor's berth – you (our suppliers) are critical to the work we do."