P8I vs P8A

Q. what are the differences between Boeing’s poseidon( P8A and P8i ). What what are pros and cons between them and which is more superior? ~ Harsh Ghantiwala

There are 4 main differences between the stock P8A vs P8I operating with Indian Navy.

1. The APY-10 surface search Radar on the P8I is of “international version” meaning similar to “export version” term the Russians use. Although it’s possible to upgrade the radar to its full potential in future.

2. P8I has BEL made Mark 2 data link to communicate between ships and ground based stations whereas standard P8A use NATO compatible Data Link. Also a BEL made Indentify Friend or For system is installed on P8I.

3. P8I has AN/ASQ-508A Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) installed on it, whereas it’s absent on standard P8A aircrafts.

4. Griffon Corporation Telephonics APS-143C(V)3 multi mode aft radar is added to P8I which is absent in the standard P8A.

Note: These 4 standard differences are between the P8A available for export and P8I of Indian Navy. The P8A of USN is supposed to get a sensor upgrade and a weapons package upgrade too.

The in service aircraft of USN will always be technologically more advanced, but the P8I is tailored for the requirements of Indian Navy. Therefore P8I will likely get better results in Indian Operations.


  • Ankit Kumar

    An independent analyst with engineering background. Besides covering military affairs, he is also interested in space, airlines, infrastructure, nuclear, energy and related issues.

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