The Shenyang Liming WS-10 (or WS10, WS stands for Woshan, Chinese: 涡扇, meaning turbofan), codename Taihang, is a turbofan engine designed and built in the People's Republic of China. The WS-10A is already being used to power the J-11B and the J-16; eventually it will be used to power the Chengdu J-10 aircraft that currently feature Russian Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engines.
The WS-10 project had its roots in the earlier WS-6 turbofan, which was abandoned at the start of the 1980s. Development of the WS-10 started in 1987 by Shenyang Aeroengine Research Institute (606 Institute) of the China Aviation Industry Corporation and was based upon the core of CFM International CFM56 engines imported from the United States in 1982. This core itself deriving from the F16's GE F101 engines. The original WS-10 was found to lack the performance needed for modern jet-powered fighters and was never used to power an aircraft. The design was modified and an improved version, the WS-10A, was tested on a prototype Shenyang J-11 fighter in 2002.
According to an interview publicised in January 2007 with J-10 pilot Li Cunbao (李存宝), the J-10 had not yet been equipped with the domestic WS-10 engine, because although the WS-10 could match the performance of its Russian counterpart (the AL-31), there was a serious drawback; the WS-10 took longer to "spool up", i.e. there was a delay in reaching the same thrust output as the Russian engine.
On 2 April 2009, the director of AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China) Lin Zuoming (林左鸣), stated that there were problems with the quality control procedures on the WS-10A production line, meaning the Taihang turbofan was still of unsatisfactory quality. He said that solving these problems would be a key step. In addition to poor build quality, the engines suffered from poor reliability, the Chinese engines have been lasting 30 hours at a time vs 400 for the Russian originals. Despite AVIC's issues with quality control, mass production of the WS-10 series engines would contribute significantly in improving Chinese industrial capabilities.
Derivatives of the WS-10 are under development, such as a high-bypass turbofan variant for propelling large transport aircraft and marine gas turbine variant for propelling ships. The high-bypass turbofan is called WS-20 which is derived from the WS-10A's core to power the Y-20 strategic transport currently under development by XAC.
A thrust-vectoring variant with higher thrust (132 kilonewtons (30,000 lbf)), called the WS-10B, is in testing and is ready for combat aircraft installation, while an even further upgrade with higher thrust (155 kilonewtons (35,000 lbf)), designated the WS-10G, was also under testing.