A US military IT company. Provides biometric systems and imaging technologies to US immigration authorities for monitoring and surveillance of US borders.
Leidos Holdings Inc is an information technology (IT) military, aviation, and biomedical research company headquartered in Reston, VA, primarily serving government security, engineering, and health agencies. Formerly named Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the company split in 2013. The larger company rebranded as Leidos and is the legal successor of historic SAIC, while the smaller company retained the name SAIC and focused on other government services. Leidos’ subsequent 2016 merger with Lockheed Martin’s IT division has made it the leading federal IT contractor and one of the world’s top 25 military contractors. As of 2019, the company employed about 34,000 people in 29 countries and reported a revenue of $11 billion, 48% of which is from contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. intelligence agencies.
Leidos has a long history as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) contractor, and company representatives expressed pride in its role “helping safeguard” U.S. borders and supporting “CBP’s essential national security mission.” The company provides CBP with the Traveler Processing and Vetting Software (TPVS), a biometric travelers identification system. This program will fulfil CBP’s goal of shifting its vetting of international travelers from biographic data to biometric data, including expanding the use of facial recognition. As part of this goal, instead of relying on travel documents such as passports, CBP will collect the biometric information of all travelers before they arrive in the U.S. and compare it to its existing databases. CBP awarded Leidos this 5-year $960 million contract in June 2020.
In addition to CBP, Leidos provides similar technologies to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and to the U.K. government. Since 2011, the company has been the contractor for the FBI’s Next Generation Identification, the agency’s main biometrics database and the world’s largest biometric and criminal history information system. Information stored on the FBI system feeds into the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) biometric database, designed by Northrop Grumman, making this information available for immigration enforcement operations. In the U.K., Leidos received a 10-year contract starting in 2019 to merge the two existing biometric databases used by the police and the government’s immigration system. The combined database integrates fingerprints, DNA, and facial recognition capabilities.
In addition to these IT surveillance projects, Leidos is a long-time provider of X-ray and other imaging technologies used to inspect vehicles at U.S. border crossings. In 2020, Leidos was awarded a 5-year $379 million contract to provide CBP with its VACIS IR6500 railroad cars inspection system. This system replaces older VACIS systems that CBP has used since 2000, and that Leidos was last contracted to service in 2016 for $155 million. Also in 2016, CBP awarded Leidos a 10-year $66 million contract to provide its VACIS M6500, a mobile system that can inspect large vehicles like trucks and buses.