Northrop wins U.K. fingerprint work

Northrop Grumman Corp. won a $244 million contract to provide advanced biometric identification technology for an integrated computer systems used by United Kingdom law enforcement agencies, the company said today.

The IDENT1 contract spans eight years with up to three additional option years. It is a follow-on contract to the National Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems contract that Northrop Grumman won in January 1995.

The National Automated Fingerprint Identification System connects 46 police forces and associated agencies in England and Wales. It can capture fingerprint images and transmit them electronically to a national database. The image-based fingerprint data is exchanged with the Police National Computer, which holds the U.K.'s criminal database.

Under the new contract, Northrop Grumman's information technology division will integrate and develop the advanced technology, replacing both the current system for England and Wales as well as the current electronic fingerprint identification system used by Scotland's police forces.

The new system will allow law enforcement officers to run national searches on palm prints. Other features will include mobile fingerprint checking, facial imaging and video identification.

Northrop Grumman's team includes Sagem S.A. of Paris, Phoenix IT Services of Northampton, England, Energis Communications Ltd. of London and Smiths Heimann Biometrics GmbH of Jena, Germany. The contract will employ about 200 people with about 100 located in the U.K. Work also will be done in Fairfax, Va., and teammate locations.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Northrop Grumman is No. 2 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list. The company employs 125,000 workers and had 2003 revenue of $26.2 billion. Its IT division in Herndon, Va., provides IT solutions and business services for government and commercial clients.

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