Lockheed Martin Gives FBI a Helping "Hand"

New computer upgrade improves searchability of fingerprint database, and adds palms as well.

Rich Smith
Rich Smith
May 15, 2013 at 6:48PM

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is more than just fighter jets. It's also, apparently, a bona fide crime fighter.

On Tuesday, the world's largest pure-play defense contracting firm announced that it has just deployed Increment 3 of the FBI's Next Generation Identification fingerprinting system. NGI is said to give the FBI "significant improvement in latent fingerprint search accuracy and a new nationwide palm print identification system to help solve cold cases and improve crime-solving capabilities."

Lockheed is upgrading the FBI's biometric identification capabilities in a series of "phased upgrades." This latest, Increment 3, involves adding "powerful matching algorithms" to the bureau's computers to improve, by as much as three times, investigators' ability to match suspect fingerprints with those in the FBI's database. Additionally, for the first time ever, Increment 3 gives the FBI the ability to search for palm prints on a national database.

News of the success helped to allay lingering concerns about the effect of defense spending sequestration on the defense contractor -- and helped to add 1.2% to Lockheed's stock price in Wednesday trading. Lockheed shares closed at $104.05.