In the years after the Five-Year Plans, efforts were made to improve the basic tank types, especially the T-26 and BT tanks. The restricted mobility of the T-26, especially when compared with the BT tanks, inspired Soviet tank designers to undertake the development of a further light tank in 1935. By the mid 1930s production of the T-26 was provisionally discontinued, and in its place it was intended to issue the T-46 wheel/track tank, which weighed slightly more than the BT-tank. The T-46 was a high-speed version of the T-26, the hull and turret being almost unchanged from the T-26. The running gear was similar to that fitted on the BT tanks, although, when moving on wheels, drive was transmitted to four wheels. Only a very few machines were built and issued to units and no mass-production was ever ordered. The main resons for not entering mass-production was the more complicated construction and that it was quite unreliable than earlier tanks. Whilst the production of the BT tanks continued, it was considered unnecessary to produce a similar high-speed tank with the same armour and armament. At least one Soviet regiment used T-46 light tank in Winter War with Finns in 1940.

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