A light bomber is a relatively small and fast class of militarybomberaircraft which were primarily employed before the 1950s. Such aircraft would typically not carry more than one ton of ordnance. The dedicated light bomber disappeared as fighters were able to carry the same bombloads while also able to carry out other missions.
Dive bombers were often light bombers by definition, as these designs typically carried lower warloads of 1 ton or less. Other designs that fall into this class by definition would include ground-attack aircraft like the Breda Ba.65 and Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik. Likewise, torpedo bombers often fell into this class, but unlike dive bombers it was fairly common for these aircraft to be used for level bombing as well; both the Japanese Nakajima B5N and US TBF Avenger saw extensive action in the light bomber role.
The light bomber, as a custom aircraft class, began to fall from use as WWII opened. The growth of engine power from the 1,000 hp to the 2,000 hp area during the war produced single-engine fighters with more power than the light bombers of only a few years earlier. This gave rise to the fighter-bomber design, notably the Fw 190 F and G models, Hawker Typhoon and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
Although the term is no longer widely used, the basic role remains a common one. Modern aircraft carrying out the same mission profiles are generally known as attack aircraft and strike fighters.