The potential for that platform exists in the my design for a hybrid dirigible-blimp; a design I conceived with the specific requirement that they be able to fly connected as lighter than air trains. The very same design that I've already indicated would be a terrific target for a public works project.
I don't want to get bogged down in too many design details here, but one of the coolest aspects of doing lighter than air in this fashion is that it allows you to specialize function as it applies to each "dirigible-blimp" segment. By that I mean you can then put all power generation, and fuel storage in one segment, and cargo in multiples of other segments. And with the centerline cargo carrying area between the dual lifting bodies, you are automatically set up for easy input/output of containerized cargo.
In the case of surveillance craft, the modularity allows for, say mile long trains, to stay aloft indefinitely because individual segments can be cycled as required, and the length ensures for not only a big sensor load, but a significant defensive drone (small, cheap, essentially flying claymore mines, that would be deployed in clouds around the trains; fed by tethered, flying recharge stations) load.
And the best thing yet here? The government could build these themselves so that no one profits but the nation itself. What a concept, right? Maybe if more of us started doing this sort of thing it might catch on. What do you think?