You need to go a lot further back than 5 pages because there has been significant discussion within this thread about the FASC. The reason why the P-8 was acquired so quickly is because Boeing has told potential users that the production line will be closing sooner rather than later so it's basically final orders please. The RFI for the FASC stated that a multi-tier system was being looked at, but that was all and we have presumed that it is the P-8, a 3rd tier platform such as the B350i for EEZ work, and in the future possibly a HALE or MALE UAV / RPAS for extended long distance over water surveillance. The $20 billion hasn't been budgeted, unfortunately so at present it is an aspiration rather than something carved in stone AND it will not be adjusted for inflation and currency fluctuations etc. I think that people are being hung up on the P-3 / P-8 comparison saying that P-8 can't do things that the P-3 can, when in fact the opposite would be closer to the truth. From what I have read since the P-8 has entered USN service, their former P-3 operators wax lyrical about it and the common thread is that it's a whole new ball game. I have read on other forums people criticising the P-8 saying that it can't operate out of airfields that P-3s currently do, or that it can't do SAR like the P-3, or that it can't operate low and slow like the P-3, doesn't have the range etc. The interesting thing is those undertaking that criticism are pontificating without the knowledge or access to all the relevant data. There is reliable open source data on the P-8 and its capabilities; it's just a matter of researching. There is a wealth of P-8 material on DT & not all of it is on the RNZAF thread either.