After a special Tank Bureau was formed on May 6, 1924, a specification for a light tank was given. It was to weigh 3,000 kg, have a speed of 7.5 mph, 16 mm of armor, 37 mm gun, and with a crew of two. During early 1925 the Red Army staff reviewed the specification and increased it to 5,000 kg.
It used rubber tired bogies.4 The engine was mounted crosswise to save length and thus weight.4
Communication was by flag.3
During tests in 1929 it was found that the T-18 had difficulties crossing trenches.5 The commander of the Leningrad Region Armored Force had another tail added to the front of the T-18 which resulted in it receiving the nickname Nosorog (Rhinoceros).5
The first prototype was called the T-16 and was finished in May 1927.5 Improvements to the engine and the length were completed in November 1927 and this was designated the T-18.5 The Revolutionary Military Council accepted the T-18 as a standard on July 6, 1927, even before testing was completed. It was called the Maliy Soprovozdieniya - Small Accompanying - One (MS-1).
An order for 108 T-18s was placed by the Red Army to be built from 1928 to 1929.5 The first 30 were available for the November 7, 1929, Revolution parade in Moscow and Leningrad.5 Ball bearings and carburetors had to be imported as there weren't Soviet factories to produce those components.5
The MS-1 was produced at the Leningrad Bolshevik plant starting in 1928. This was the first Russian tank to be put into serial production.
T-18: 9606, 9895
Production: 1928 - 19315, 1928 - ?6
Production: 1928 - 19314
Manufacturer: Leningrad Weapon Factory4
MS-1: Was to have a 37 mm gun and two 7.62 mm machines guns in the turret, but the turret was too cramped so only one machine gun was installed.4
T-17 light tank: Had air cooled 2 cylinder engine (18 HP).4
T-19 light tank: Engine was improved and was 60 HP.4
T-23 light tank: Had no turret and had a two man crew with a single 7.62 mm MG.4 The armor was 6 to 10 mm thick and protected the crew from small arms fire.4 Weighed 3.5 tons and could go 35 kph.4
It was withdrawn from service in 1932 and given to the Ossoaviakhim, which as the military training organization.
After the Germans invaded Russia, approximately 200 MS-1s were converted into T-18Ms mounting 45 mm guns.
MS saw combat Kiev-Voronezh and Chinese Eastern Railway in 1929.4
T-18s saw action against the Chinese in border clashes in 1929.5 In one particular action around Dzhalaynor Station, Russian infantry advanced behind T-18s with some success as the tanks were handled skillfully by their crews.5 A later attack wasn't as successful as the T-18s were unable to cross an anti-tank ditch.5