Australia's Department of Defence has taken receipt of an automated biometric information system on a "trial proof-of-concept" basis.
The ABIS system was delivered by defence contractor Northrop Grumman, and will operate over a six-month trial period to test and refine analytical techniques to produce biometrically-enabled intelligence.
It will also help determine requirements for a future biometrics information management solution.
The system is modelled after a US equivalent that uses face, fingerprint, iris and palm scans for biometric identity records, "for persons of interest".
Biometrics are becoming an important part of modern warfare, to identify potential enemy combatants and to track their movements.
In 2010, it was revealed that NATO forces had embarked on a campaign to scan prisoners' irises and taking other biometric measurements.
Several hundreds of thousands of Afghanis from all walks of life are thought to be in the NATO biometric database. The system is expected to be extended to biometric identity cards for 1.65 million Afghanis.