For the army, who is overseeing the LEMV program alongside Northrop Grumman, the flight marks something of a coup (there is a whole cadre of senior Northrop Grumman personnel here, by the way, and they aren't saying a word about this thus far). When the DoD first expressed an interest into getting back into airships for extended intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions over Afghanistan and Iraq more than a decade ago, all of the usual suspects (Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, etc.) began rebooting old airship designs and putting new ones on the drawing board. Some smaller companies jumped into the fray as well. A startup called Mav6 spent hundreds of millions building the Air Force's Blue Devil spy blimp (and won a PopSci Best of What's New in the process).