It looks like there may be some evidence that the Airbus A319 based MPA is actually cheaper than the Boeing P-8:
The evidence is base on the bids only. As many of us here have seen being a low bidder does not necessarily means the least expensive contract. If true, while the P-8I may become a higher bid with the support contract (We were just as curious on why the India Navy did not want the support contract up front.), the development that was done for the P-8A have reduce the risk of execution for the P-8I significantly. I do not recall the P-8I's being delivered late (or significantly late). You can not be assured the same for the A319 based aircraft.
Considering that the P-8I was built similar to the P-8A where the mission system provision was already built into the green aircraft, which is the benefit of tagging on to the 117 quantity order of the P-8A. Can we say that the A319 MMA would be able to do the same for 8 frames? The A319 MMA would have to be a post production mod (chop and patch) otherwise the non-recuring cost for in-line production would go through the roof.
There is one benefit of a post production mod though. The mod could be done in India, thus providing significant off-sets. But having had the hind sight of a few years of working with India aerospace industry, I would predict that any A319 MMA being mod in India 8 years ago would have faced significant delays due to the learning curve. If mod could begin today, I would be more confident, but 8 years ago? Not so confident . . .
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.