Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Special Duties Unit

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Country  Hong Kong
Part of  Hong Kong Police Force
Size  Over 140 officers
Special Duties Unit

Active  July 23, 1974 - present
Type  Paramilitary/Civilian Law Enforcement
Role  Counterterrorism, hostage rescue, VIP protection, underwater operations.

The Special Duties Unit (Abbreviation: SDU; Chinese: 特別任務連, nicknamed Flying Tigers 飛虎隊) is Hong Kong's main elite paramilitary special operations unit, and part of the Hong Kong Police Force.

Established in 1974 by the British Hong Kong government and trained by the Special Air Service (SAS), the SDU is arguably one of Asia's finest and most well-known special operations units. Officers in the Unit take on both law enforcement and paramilitary roles in sea, air, and land. The Unit's primary functions include counterterrorism, hostage rescue, underwater operations, and responding to active crimes involving firearms. Membership in the Unit is highly secretive and known only to close family members, thus all officers wear masks during operations to protect their identities.

The SDU is a subdivision of the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) of the Hong Kong Police Force, and is headquartered in Fanling. The current commanding officer of the unit is Superintendent Ian Christopher Strange.

Equipment and Weapons

SDU officers currently deploy in olive green for urban operations and MultiCam for rural operations, replacing the navy blue jumpsuits worn throughout most of the Unit's history. Officers may also deploy in plain clothes during a rapid response when there is no time to change. Unlike many similar units around the world, all SDU officers wear balaclava hoods or gas masks at all times to protect their identities. Also unlike many similar police units, SDU officers do not wear patches or display the word "Police" on their uniform.

The Unit is currently equipped with the following weapons and equipment:


  • Ops-Core FAST ballistic helmet
  • MICH 2000, 2001
  • Eye protection

  • Bolle X500, X800
  • Various Oakley goggles and glasses
  • ESS ballistic glasses
  • Balaclava hood

  • Fire resistant with one-hole opening
  • Battle Dress

  • Olive green Battle Dress Uniform
  • Crye Precision G3 MultiCam battle shirt and pants
  • Combat Boots

  • Adidas GSG9
  • Crispi SWAT HTG
  • Respirators

  • Avon FM12
  • MSA Advantage 1000 CBA-RCA
  • Tactical Vests

  • MSA Paraclete Releasable Modular Vest
  • Tactical Tailor Fight Light Plate Carrier
  • Blackhawk Omega Tactical Vest
  • Pistols

  • Glock 17
  • Glock 19
  • Submachine Guns

  • Heckler & Koch MP5 (several variants)
  • Assault Rifles

  • SIG Sauer SIG516
  • Heckler & Koch G36KV
  • Knight's Armament Company SR-16
  • Heckler & Koch HK53
  • Shotguns

  • Remington 870
  • Benelli M1 Super 90
  • SPAS-15
  • Sniper Rifles

  • Remington 700
  • Knight's Armament Company SR-25
  • Accuracy International Arctic Warfare L96A1
  • Accuracy International AX338
  • Heckler & Koch HK33/SG1
  • Heckler & Koch G3/SG1
  • SIG Sauer SSG 3000
  • Vehicles

  • Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5000 armored personnel carrier
  • Mercedes-Benz Vario van
  • Man LE14.224 truck
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • References

    Special Duties Unit Wikipedia