The RPG-18 fires a 64 mm PG-18HEAT warhead mounted on a small rocket capable of engaging any target within 200 meters. The warhead self-destructs 6 seconds after launch, placing definite limits on range even if a sight was used that was effective with targets beyond 200 meters. The RPG-18 itself can penetrate up to 375 mm of conventional armor. However, performance is significantly diminished when the RPG-18 is employed against targets protected by HEAT-resistant ERA or composite armor.
Unlike better known weapons, the RPG-18 requires only one operator because it is not reloadable. Assistant grenadiers are used to help reload the RPG-2, RPG-7 and RPG-16 systems.