The Light Tank, M5 was designed as a modification of the Light Tank, M3. The design was completely welded, eliminating the risk of the tank crew of rivets tearing loose and ricocheting inside the vehicles due to projectile impacts. The design was also streamlined, and the glacis plate was reinforced (these armour modifications were later adopted with the Light Tank, M3A3). The tank was also modernised, introducing a powered turret traverse and an automatic gear. A new engine, requiring less space, increased the space available for the crew in the fighting compartment. In addition, a gyro stabiliser for the main gun was introduced. The Light Tank, M5 was standartised in 1942-02, but was later re-classified to a limited standard in 1943-04.
The Light Tank, M5 was replaced in the Light Tank, M5A1, which was standartised on 1942-09 (but re-classified as a substitute standard in 1944-07). The main change was the introduction of a radio bulge in the turret, similar to the one on the Light Tank, M3A3. Other changes included re-locating the anti-aircraft gun mount to allow independent traverse between the main 37 mm Gun, M6 and the anti-aircraft mounted Browning Machine Gun, cal. .30, M1919A4, improved sighting equipment and a traversable periscope in the roof of the turret.
The Light Tank, M5 was eventually replaced by the Light Tank, M24.
|Weight||15 t||15.4 t|
|Length||4.34 m||4.84 m|
|Width||2.24 m||2.29 m|
|Height||2.3 m||2.4 m|
|Armour (range)||10-64 mm|
|Speed (max)||58 km/h|
|Primary weapon||37 mm tank gun (1)|
|Secondary weapon||.30 cal. Browning Machine Gun (3)|