The U.S. Naval Academy Foundation recently received more than $1 million in navigational software from Northrop Grumman for use in its classrooms.
“The Voyage Management Software (VMS) will help ensure Midshipmen of the Naval Academy are best prepared for service in the Fleet upon graduation," said Cmdr. William Marks, Naval Academy spokesman. "Use of advanced navigation software in our training will enable Naval Academy graduates to excel in an increasingly technical world."
The software combines digital charts and GPS into an integrated, automatic plotting system used in navigation, according to a press release.
The global security company's donation will allow midshipmen to train in the computer lab in Annapolis on the equipment they will likely use on their first assignments on ships and submarines after graduation. This version of VMS software is installed, or scheduled for installation, on more than 200 Navy vessels.
“This is our fifth gift-in-kind donation to the United States Naval Academy," said Jeff Holloway, site director of Northrop Grumman Maritime Systems.
Holloway graduated from the Naval Academy in 1977 and is also a former academy instructor. He spearheaded the donations to the academy and said the idea for the in-kind donations came about in 2000 when the company first started selling the VMS software to the Navy.
Northrop Grumman's software donations have totaled more than $12 million and usually coincide with the release of new versions of VMS software.
"It made good sense for our company to provide state-of the-art and improved software in order to help contribute to the professional development of future submarine and surface warfare officers," said Holloway.