China may field a fifth-generation fighter well before the Pentagon expected. According to various news reports, Gen. He Weirong, deputy commander of the People's Liberation Army Air Force said Nov. 8, 2009, the PLAAF would have the new fighter ready for its pilots within eight to 10 years. Here, Weirong, as a lieutenant general, waits on July 24, 2007, with Gen. Paul Hester, then commander of Pacific Air Forces, to receive the PLAAF mission briefing.
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