The Bazalt Stale Research and Production Enterprise developed the new RPG-26 light ants-armour weapon in the early 1980s. The new weapon, codenamed “Aglen” and intended to replace the RPG-18 and the RPG-22, was designed under the supervision of leading designer V. S. Tokarev and fielded in 1985.
This rocket launcher features a single launch lube without an extension, with the overall length amounting to 770 mm. At the same time the muzzle velocity was increased up to 144 m/s, primarily due to a more advanced rocket motor, which imparted a greater velocity to the round and slopped operating before the round left the launch tube. The direct fire range also grew up to 170 m.
The single-tube launcher simplified the RPG-26 design and preparations for firing. It took three simple steps to transform, the rocket launcher from, the travelling position into the combat one and back. In addition to that, the new launch tube allows the rocket launcher to be put into the travelling position from the combat one, even if the round has not been fired.
Besides the afore-mentioned improvements, the design has also seen several other modifications. For instance, the front and the rear rubber covers of the launch tube do not have to be removed for firing: the rear cover is kicked out by the gas jet, while the front cover is torn out by the warhead. It made RPG-26 preparations for firing easier.
The pop-up sight has three holes, marked '±15', '+' and '-' which are used for firing at a temperature of -15°C to +15°C, above 15°C, and below -15°C respectively.
The armour penetration was increased up to 440 mm due to an increase in the RPG-26 rocket weight of up to 1.8 kg, while the calibre remained the same as that of the PG-22 round, namely 72.5 mm. The RPG-26 is 0.2 kg heavier than the RPG-22. Its overall weight totals 2.9 kg. However, a greater weight of the RPG-26 has not affected the ease of handling.
At the present time the RPG-26 combines all latest achievements in science and technology, concerning light anti-armour weapons. The RPG-26 is mass-produced at the Nizhny Tagil-based Planta chemical plant.