The T-50 light infantry tank was built by the Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II. The design for this vehicle had some advanced features, but was complicated and expensive, and only a short production run of 69 tanks was completed. Furthermore, even before it was ready for mass-production wartime experience invalidated the underlying concept of light tanks.
The T-50 was a light tank developed on the eve of World War II for the Red Army. The experience of the Spanish Civil War led to an effort to upgrade or replace the large Soviet tank fleet. Prior to 1939, most tanks in Red Army service were improved versions of foreign designs. For example, the most numerous tank, the T-26 light infantry tank, was a copy of the British Vickers 6-Ton tank with a Soviet-designed turret and 45 mm gun. However, just prior to and during the war, the USSR developed new light, medium and heavy tanks of wholly indigenous design. The T-50 light tank was intended to replace the T-26 infantry tank; in prewar planning, the T-50 was intended to become the most numerous Soviet tank, operating alongside the BT fast tank.