Airbus decided to build some into own inventory... and now takers are coming out of the woodwork:
"The US Army Futures Command is interested in buying Airbus' Zephyr S HAPS system. The new group is the Army's fourth command and is tasked with driving the service into the future to achieve clear overmatch in future conflicts. The command wants to use the high-altitude pseudo-satellite for a variety of missions, including as military, security and civil missions and acting as a communication hub. The Zephyr is built out of carbon fibre composite materials and is solar powered. The drone set the world record for flight endurance in July after staying aloft using solar cells for 25 days 23h 57min. Willie Nelson, the Futures Command's director, told Flight Global “I think they are an incredible capability that we should continue to invest [science and technology] dollars into research and development". The UK has currently three Zephyrs on order. They will provide British troops with battlefield intelligence and surveillance. The US Army currently has no funded program to acquire high-altitude UAVs." from DID of today
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)