HERNDON, Va., Dec. 14, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been awarded a contract to provide advance biometric identification technology as part of an integrated computer system that links more than 50 police forces and agencies in the United Kingdom. This upgraded system, called IDENT1, will for the first time, allow the routine identification of individuals throughout the United Kingdom mainland, following Scotland's decision to join with England and Wales in establishing a unified collection of finger and palm prints.

The IDENT1 contract is expected to be valued at approximately $244 million (122 million Pounds) over eight years with up to three additional option years.

Through IDENT1, Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector will integrate and develop this advanced identification technology, replacing the current National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) for England and Wales, and replacing the current system of electronic fingerprint identification used by Scotland's police forces. Current services have allowed police forces to search their local fingerprints and crime scene marks against their own national databases. IDENT1 will enable these fingerprints and marks to be searched against a combined database of more than six million records in minutes.

"Northrop Grumman will bring its considerable systems integration expertise to bear as we assist the U.K. with implementing this advanced biometrics identification technology," said James O'Neill, president of Northrop Grumman IT. "Our knowledge of the new system's long term architecture, coupled with our experience with NAFIS, will significantly enhance our ability to help U.K. police agencies increase productivity."

One of the first new developments under IDENT1 will be the establishment of a national palm-print searching service. This service will enable forces, which already routinely collect palm prints from the people that they arrest, to run national searches similar to fingerprint searches. National palm-print searching can have a considerable impact on crime investigation and detection as nearly 20 percent of all marks obtained from crime scenes in the United Kingdom are from palms.

Further initiatives include mobile fingerprint checking, facial imaging and video identification.

"The U.K. has set the standard for identification technology in the police service, enabling the fingerprint bureau to complete complex national searches and comparisons," said Dr. Fred Preston, director of Identification for the U.K. Police Information Technology Organization. "This contract award will enable us to continue the good work and to provide the police service with further national identification services they need to help fight the modern, sophisticated and mobile criminal."

Northrop Grumman IT teammates include SAGEM SA, Paris, France; Phoenix IT Services, Northampton, England; Energis Communications Ltd., London, England; and Smiths Heimann Biometrics GmbH, Jena, Germany.

The contract will employ approximately 200 people, with about 100 located in the United Kingdom. Work on the program will be carried out at Hendon, England; Fairfax, Va.; and teammate locations.

IDENT1 is a follow-on contract to NAFIS, which was awarded to Northrop Grumman in January 1995. The NAFIS image-based fingerprint data is interfaced with the Police National Computer, which holds the United Kingdom's criminal history database. NAFIS provides an integrated fingerprint system and an IT infrastructure to connect each of the 46 police forces and associated agencies in England and Wales. These forces and agencies are able to capture fingerprint images and transmit them electronically to a national database.

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, headquartered in Herndon, Va., is a trusted IT leader and premier provider of advanced IT solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. The company's technological leadership spans such areas as public safety and homeland security solutions, secure wireless, cyber and physical assurance, IT and network infrastructure, managed services, knowledge management, modeling and simulation, and geospatial intelligence solutions.

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