Northrop trials Aussie biometric ID system

Dec. 7, 2012 at 12:03 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has delivered the trial proof of concept for an automated biometric information system for the Australian Department of Defense.

The proof of concept was delivered to the Chief Information Officer Group, Australian Department of Defense, under a one-year contract.

Northrop Grumman said the Australian system is modeled after the U.S. Department of Defense Automated Biometric Identification System, for which Northrop is prime contractor. The U.S. network-centric system is accessible worldwide and interfaces with other U.S. government agency data systems.

The Australian system will be operated for six months to enable testing and refinement of analytical techniques for producing biometric intelligence that includes face, finger, iris and palm records, Northrop Grumman said in a statement.

The trial results will help determine the needs for a future complete biometrics information management solution.

"This delivery is a key step in the development of a multi-modal biometric data repository for the Australian Department of Defense," Samuel Abbate, vice president of defense enterprise solutions for Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector, said.

During the trial, biometric data will be collected, stored, matched and processed in accordance with existing legislative frameworks, he said.

"ABIS will be an important element in Australian Defense Forces capability to ensure identity dominance and assurance in the theater," Abbate said.

Northrop Grumman has been supporting Australian defense and civil programs for more than 20 years. It recently was awarded a contract to build a cyber test range for the University of New South Wales and Canberra campus at the Australian Defense Force Academy.

The company recently acquired M5 Network Security, a Canberra provider of cybersecurity and secure mobile communications to Australian military and intelligence organizations.

This month Australian Minister for Defense Stephen Smith also announced the appointment of former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to the governing council of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

The institute advises and informs debate around Australia's national and international strategic and security choices.

Downer, who was leader of the Liberal Party in the early 1990s and foreign minister from 1996 to 2007, will serve a three-year term and replaces former Sen. Russell Trood whose term ends Dec. 31.

Downer was recently appointed to board of Roy Hill Holdings, the company developing the $9 billion Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia, a report by The Australian newspaper said.

The project was publicly criticized and slammed by unions for importing around 1,700 foreign workers during the construction phase, The Australian said.

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