Currently the SDU has 3 standard uniforms. The dark blue one is suitable for operations conducted in night times and low light conditions. The grey uniform is for the standard urban operations, and the jungle camouflage uniform is for rural operations. All uniforms are non-flammable and can protect the officers from tear gas attacks. The standard gloves are the Nomax gloves.

The marine team officers wear the camouflaged wet suits or black wet suits.

Due to the relatively small size of the SDU, officers who are off duties will be called back through the new digital mobile system. Those officers, while wearing tees and jeans, will directly go to the scenes of the emergencies, and only by then they will wear the armors and distributed weapons to them. Hence it is not weird to see SDU officers carry out emergency operations wearing tees and jeans.

Helmet & Goggle

The SDU operates the AC-100 helmet made in the UK which is also adopted by the British SAS. The helmet can protect the officer from 9 x 19mm ammo rounds.

The French Boll'e goggle is famous for its low price yet  a high quality is offered. The goggle can sustain hits from 9 x 19mm ammo rounds fired form pistols, and offers the least distortion on wearer's vision.

The S-10 gas mask is also a common mask used by SDU officers, especially the missions require them to use tear gas. The S-10 operates with charcoal to filter the air. However due to its limitation to the sights, the SDU is replacing their S-10 gas masks with the Advantage 1000 CBA-RCA gas masks. The gas mask is designed in such a way that the distortion on wearer's vision and limitation are minimized.

Bullet-proof Armor

The strength of bullet-proof armor is classified into 4 categories, with NIJ Level 1 the weakest and Level 4 the strongest. However the Level 4 weights 26lb and seriously hinders the movements of the users. Currently the SDU officers use the British-made Highmark NIJ Level 3 armor with custom-made non-detachable pockets and shotgun-round holders. The armor guarantees users to have protections against 7.62 x 39mm rounds fired from the AK-47, which is considered as the most common rifle used by criminals in Hong Kong. 

LAR V Draeger Close Circuit Underwater Breathing Apparatus (UBA)

The LAR V Draeger is a self-contained closed-circuit, 100 percent oxygen, underwater breathing apparatus, designed for clandestine operations in shallow water.?The LAR V is worn on the diver's chest.?With this closed-circuit system, the diver breathes 100 percent oxygen and his exhaled breath is re-circulated in the diving apparatus.?The divers exhaled breath passes through a chemical filter which removes carbon dioxide, replenishing the oxygen that is consumed.?Depth, water temperature and oxygen consumption rate all affect the duration of the LAR V Draeger.

LAR V Draeger Close Circuit UBA


The SDU has sufficient budgets that allow it to acquire up-to-date weapons. Due to this many foreign weapons companies aggressively promote their products to SDU by offering free samples. However the SDU has its own selection criteria, weapons that are not suitable for Hong Kong use, like M203 grenade launchers are not used. Rifles that have their bullets produced by only one supplier would not be chosen, for example the FN P-90 sub-machine gun (SMG). Besides guns described below, all SDU officers carry knives with them.



Currently the SDU operates two pistols, the FN GP35 High Power and the Glock 17. Both pistols fire the 9mm ammo rounds. The High Power has been the standard sidearm of SDU for decades. However the High Power is heavy, and is currently being replaced by the Austrian-made Glock 17 pistol. The Glock is made with thermo-plastic and steel, making it lighter and more comfortable than its counterpart. The Glock 17 pistol has replaced the GP35 recently.


FN High Power Glock 17
FN GP35 High Power Glock 17

Sub-machine gun (SMG)

The SDU currently operates the H&K MP5 SMG.

There are many different variants of MP5, of which the SDU currently operates the A3, SD5, SD6, K and K-PDW. The marine team uses the  MP5N which has the trigger group specially modified for underwater uses. All MP5s fire the 9 x 19mm pistol rounds, however due to the longer barrels and special firing mechanisms, the 9mm rounds fired from MP5 are more accurate and powerful than fired by pistols.


Assault Rifles (AR)

Currently 3 different ARs are used, namely the H&K 53A3, Colt M-16A2 and M-4 carbine. The 53A3 looks similar to the MP5-A3, yet it adopts the more powerful 5.56 x 45mm assault rifle rounds. Nevertheless this AR suffers from high recoil and over penetrating power of the ammos.

H&K 53A3

The Colt AR-15 (M-16A2) is the standard AR used by the US armed forces. It fires the 5.56 x 45mm assault rifle rounds. The rifle is designed to fire in automatic and single fire modes. Due to its long barrel (51cm) it is not suitable for close quarter combats. Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 scope is usually mounted on the upper of the AR-15, which effectively turns it into a tactical sniper rifle.

Colt M-16A2

The Colt XM-177E2 carbine has an effective range of 600 meters, yet it only has a 37cm barrel and a retractable stock, making it suitable on close quarter combats and has the penetrating power of the 5.56 x 45mm rounds. Recently the SDU has purchased 72 M4A1 carbines from KAC.

Colt M4 cabinet


There are two shotguns operated by the SDU, the Italian Franchi SPAS-15 and the US Remington M870 shotgun. The SPAS-15 is the modernized version of the older SPAS-12. It has a 6-round detachable magazine box. The M870 comes in many different forms, from fixed stock to 8 rounds of ammunitions. However the SDU's version is without stock, short barrel and only has 6 + 1 rounds. There are many different types of ammunitions available, from the traditional buck shots to armor-piecing rounds to explosive rounds. A special ammunition, the SGA-300, is a special ammo that has saw-like head designed to penetrate through obstacles like doors and windows, and release the tear gas (orto-chlorobenzylidene-malononitrile, CS) stored inside after penetrating the obstacle. The SDU has been increasingly using this ammunition.

Franchi SPAS-15Remington M870
Franchi SPAS-15 shotgun Remington M870

Sniper Rifle

The SDU operates many different sniper rifles according to the missions requirements. Currently the SDU employs H&K G3SG1, H&K 33SG1, L-42A1, L-96A1, SSG22000, KAC SR-15 and PSG-1 which is fitted with a optical sight specially designed for night operations.

The H&K G3SG1 is the sniper variant of the G3 AR. It fires the 7.62 x 51mm NATO standard round. The penetrating power of the 7.62mm round is very high. The 33SG1 is the sniper variant of the H&K 33 AR, and it fires the 5.56 x 45mm NATO rounds. Both sniper rifles are capable to fire in automatic mode.

H&K G3SG1 H&K 33SG1
H&K G3SG1 H&K 33SG1

The L-96A1 is the replacement of the aging L-42A1 sniper rifle. The L-96A1 is developed by the British company Accuracy International. It is a bolt action sniper rifle that, the fired bullet body round is ejected outside manually. It fires the 7.62 x 51mm NATO standard rounds.


The SSG-2000 is jointly designed and produced by SAN Swiss Arms and German company J.P. Sauer & Sohn. It enters production in 1989 and is still producing. It fires the 7.62 x 51mm NATO rounds. It is a bolt action sniper rifle with a magazine of 4 rounds only.


The SDU sometimes uses the Knight's Armament Corporation's KAC SR-25 7.62mm semi-automatic sniper rifle.


The H&K PSG-1 semi-automatic, single-fire sniper rifle is considered as some of the most accurate sniper rifle available in the world. It fires the 7.62 x 51mm NATO rounds. The SDU has fitted the PSG-1 with an optical sight specially designed for night operations, making this sniper rifle the ideal choice for SDU snipers in night time operations.



Besides guns, one of the major non-lethal weapons used by the SDU and other famous CT units in the world, is the flashbang. Flashbang is used in the same way as a grenade is used, by pulling out the safety clip and throw the flashbang to the proximity of the victims. Most flashbangs are made with steel cases and use 1.5 second fuse delays, so that the flashbangs do not activate immediately after pulling out the safety clips. Most of them produce loud noises around 175dB noise level, as well as lights as bright as 2-6 million Candelas. The SDU uses several different flashbangs, some of them can flash multiple times and reused by replacing the fuses.

The SDU uses two different types of flashbangs

Tear Gas

Another major non-lethal weapon is the tear gas. Modern tear gases are composed by the chemical Ortho-chlorobenzylidene-malononitrile, or the more common form of CS. The SDU employs the hand-throw CS N225, as well as the shotgun-fired SGA-300 tear gas round.

Hand-throw CS N225

Spike Microphone

A spike microphone is a microphone used for secret surveillance purposes, consisting of a spike-like shaft that is driven into the wall of a room being monitored, with a diaphragm transducer on the other side of the wall for pickup and amplification. The spike microphones are widely employed by SDU during hostage-rescue (HR) and anti-hijacking missions.

Radar Imagine System

This portable device can detect and produce images behind walls and doors, and it is a very useful tool to locate the positions of hostages during HR and anti-hijacking missions.

Pin Hole Camera

Pin hole camera is a camera that is small enough to be inserted through the gap between the floor and the door. With this the SDU officers can see clearly the situations inside rooms and houses. It is particularly useful for HR missions, as well as for capturing specific targets.

Land Vehicles

The SDU utilizes many vehicles for operations. Officers are transported to scenes mainly using the Benz O-814 trucks, which the same type is used by the PTU officers as well. The Benz truck can carry 19 fully-equipped SDU officers.

The SDU also uses Man 16-ton trucks to transport weapons and other equipment to scenes. The interiors of the Man trucks are modified by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to suit the needs of SDU. The SDU also modified several Toyota Land Cruisers by fitting ladders on top of the roofs.

Land CruiserBenz O-814Man truck
Toyota Land Cruiser Benz O-814 Man 16-ton

Marine Vessels

The SDU marine team operates the US-made Zodiac vessels. The Zodiac vessel is a Rigid Inflated Boat (RIB) that can transport an entire squadron (8 men). It is made by Kevlar material and is powered by 2 Dual Caterpillar turbocharged diesel engines. It has maximum speed approaches 40 knots.

Zodic Vessel


The SDU does not operate its own helicopters, instead it cooperates with the Government Flying Service (GFS). The GFS currently operates 3 S-70 Black Hawk helicopters which are replaced by the French-made Super Puma around April 2002, as well as Eurocopter's EC-155B1. Pilots of GFS are highly trained, with the skills to provide transportation, fire-extinguishing, as well as techniques for special operations.

UH-60 Black Hawk

Typical Loadout

Depending on the natures of the missions, the loadout of SDU officers vary accordingly. Typically a SDU officer uses the following equipment:

* AC-100 helmet

* Boll'e goggle

* CBA-RCA gas mask

* Non-flammable uniform

* Level 3 bullet-proof armor with vest

* Nomax gloves

* Gor-tex boots

* Motorola communication equipment with earphone.

* Earplugs

* Flashlight

* Night goggle for night missions

* Multitool, like cutter to cut a hold on wire-made fence

* MP5-A3 SMG with a spare magazine, or 

* Colt XM-177E2 carbine or KAC M4A1 carbine with spare magazines

* Glock-17 9mm pistol

* Knife

* Flashbangs and tear gas grenade

* First-aid pack

* Camelback or canteens for long deployment


For the marine team, the equipment is much different:


* Camouflaged or black wet suit

* Pro-Tec water sport helmet.

* Diving goggle

* LAR V Draeger Close Circuit UBA, or just SCUBA

* Level 3 bullet-proof armor

* Fins

* Underwater flashlight

* Dive knife with blunt tip

* Emergency strobe light

* Lightsticks

* Emergency buoy

* Waterproof bag to hold special equipment like camera and surveillance equipment

* Motorola communication equipment with earphone

* "Buddy-strap" to hold team members together in limited visibility

* Underwater propellant equipment

* Colt XM-177E2 or KAC M4A1, usually mounted with Trijicon ACOG 4 x 32 scope, or

* MP5-N or MP5-K SMG with a spare magazine

* Glock-17 9mm pistol

* Camelback or canteens for long deployment