By Anthony Davis, Tian Li and James Hardy 4/29/2013 Myanmar's insurgent United Wa State Army (UWSA) has for the first time acquired an armed rotary-wing aviation capability with assistance from China: the latest move in a programme of rapid rearmament. China delivered several Mil Mi-17 'Hip' medium-transport helicopters armed with TY-90 air- to-air missiles to the Wa in late February and early March, according to both Myanmar ethnic minority and Myanmar government sources. The UWSA controls a wide wedge of territory along the Chinese border in northeastern Shan State and is currently in a fragile ceasefire agreement with the Myanmar military, or 'Tatmadaw'. The Mi-17s reached the Wa- administered area by flying across the Mekong River from Lao rather than direct from China, according to one ethnic minority military source, who added that five helicopters had been delivered. A Myanmar government source confirmed that helicopters had reached the UWSA but said only two aircraft had been delivered. According to the ethnic minority source, the Mi-17s are armed with what appear to be Chinese TY-90 short-range air-to-air missiles. If this report is accurate, the TY-90 would provide a serious deterrent to Tatmadaw Mi-24P 'Hind' gunships recently acquired from Russia and already deployed in counter-insurgency operations against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). China 'sends armed helicopters to Myanmar separatists'