Taiwan has taken delivery of two upgraded E-2K early warning aircraft (EWA) from the US as part of a $6.5bn foreign arms deal agreed between the two nations in 2008.

The two E-2K aircraft, originally known as E-2T, were acquired in 1995 and were sent to the US in June 2010 to be upgraded.

The aircraft will enter service with the Taiwan Air Force within ten days after undergoing a series of flight tests.

The Northrop Grumman-built E-2K is an all-weather early warning and control system platform equipped with eight-blade propellers, upgraded radar and surveillance systems, software and avionics.

The Hawkeye 2K features a Raytheon mission computer upgrade (MCU), a Lockheed Martin advanced control indicator set (ACIS), cooperative engagement capability (CEC), satellite communications, and new navigation and flight control systems.

The aircraft’s communication suite also includes AN/ARC-158 UHF and AN/ARQ-34 HF data links and a joint tactical information distribution system (JTIDS) for secure voice and data communications.

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The upgraded aircraft are expected to further reduce warning times if China launched an air attack.

The arms sale also includes advanced interceptor Patriot missiles, Apache attack helicopters and submarine-launched missiles, as reported by Agence France Presse.

As part of the agreement, Taiwan sent an additional two E-2Ts to the US for upgrading last month that are scheduled to be delivered before the end of 2011.

Currently, Taiwan operates four E-2Ts and two E-2Ks that were acquired in 2006.

The aircraft is also in service with the air forces of France, Egypt and Japan.