Lockheed Martin wins FBI database contract

Published 19 February 2008

Lockheed Martin built and maintains the FBI’s current ten-fingerprint database, so it was expected to win the contract for the agency’s new database — and it did; contract potential value is $1 billion

The FBI last week selected Lockheed Martin for a contract worth up to $1 billion to build a database for fingerprints and other biometric information. Lockheed Martin, which built and maintains the FBI’s current ten-fingerprint database, was the expected winner among analysts. Making good on its incumbent status, the nation’s largest defense contractor will keep its hands on the Next Generation Identification system contract (for more on the FBI planned database, see this 6 February HSDW story) . Lockheed Martin’s Transportation and Security Solutions branch won the one-year deal valued at about $40 million, but if all nine one-year options are exercised, the contract’s value will approach $1 billion. Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin beat out teams led by Northrop Grumman and International Business Machines.

The deal is a major upgrade to the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System because it allows the agency more easily to share anti-terrorism information with domestic and international partners and may include other identifiers, including palm prints, iris scans and facial recognition. It also will include data on known criminals and terrorists, as well as information on foreign visitors to the United States whose fingerprints and digital photographs were collected under a separate DHS program. The FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services division will operate the new system in Clarksburg, West Virginia, where the current fingerprint database is maintained. “NGI will give us bigger, better, faster capabilities and lead us into the future,” said FBI assistant director Thomas Bush III. “We have added additional capabilities to our current system and are working with the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and State and the international law enforcement community in making our communities and nation safer.”

Judy Marks, president of Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions, said the company was “tremendously pleased” to partner with the FBI, supporting it and other stakeholders “with the next quantum leap in capability.” Northrop Grumman is “disappointed” by the decision but looking forward to partnering with the FBI on other projects and to creating partnerships in West Virginia, said Juli Ballesteros, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles-based company said. Lockheed Martin will be the lead database integrator, but a “biometric bake-off” later this year will allow Cogent, L-1 Identity Solutions, Motorola, and other providers to showcase their systems for possible inclusion in the database, said Stanford Group analyst Jeremy Grant. The facial recognition work could begin early next year, while fingerprint upgrades should start by early 2010, he added.