The Michigan National Guard in the US has opened a new innovation centre at Selfridge Research Park.

The innovation centre is named after Kelly Johnson, an American aeronautical and systems engineer who hailed from the state.

He was associated with the design of several military aircraft, including the F-80 Shooting Star, the U-2 Dragon Lady, and the SR-71 Blackbird.

The Kelly Johnson Joint All-Domain Innovation Center will help the armed forces, government and industry to collaborate, research and develop military innovations.

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist said: “Michigan continues to bring together the greatest academic, commercial and military minds to develop new ways of protecting our service members and securing our nation.”

Michigan Air National Guard assistant adjutant general Brigadier General Bryan Teff said: “The Kelly Johnson Joint All-Domain Innovation Center will align Michigan’s national assets such as the National All-Domain Warfighting Center at Camp Grayling and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, with senior leadership objectives.

“It provides a venue to shape the future by solving problems and applying technology solutions, enabling service members and industry partners to solve crucial needs.”

Michigan National Guard is a component of the US Army. It is also helping the battle against Covid-19 as the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the US crosses 6.5 million.

Last month, Michigan National Guard extended support for a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services programme that aimed to test all agricultural and food processing workers living in migrant housing camps in the state.