India evaluates Airbus A319, Boeing P-8 for maritime surveillance

India has completed evaluations of a maritime patrol derivative of the Airbus A319 and the Boeing P-8 Poseidon for eight anti-submarine aircraft for the navy. Other contenders are Israel Aerospace Industries and Elta Systems with a Dassault Falcon 900 business jet derivative, Lockheed Martin with a re-manufactured P-3 Orion, and a Russian consortium with the Ilyushin Il-38.

Since neither the P-8 nor the A319 derivative actually exist as yet, trials involved simulations, flying leased commercial Boeing 737 and A320 aircraft on representative flight profiles, and mission system evaluations using US Navy and Spanish air force P-3s.

Airbus parent company EADS is offering its FITS mission system, which has been installed in Spain's upgraded P-3Bs.The mission system for Boeing's P-8A uses developments of sensors already operational in US Navy P-3Cs, but the company's offer of a P-8I variant to India would allow the integration of indigenous systems such as communications, datalink and friend-or-foe identification equipment. The US company is negotiating agreements with several Indian companies to meet industrial participation requirements