Blackhawk UK-SFK British Spec-Ops Dagger | Combat Dagger Review

Move over Fairbairn, the Brits have a new silent partner for close-quarters combat!

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In the United Kingdom, the term “special forces” is applied to all units that in the USA would be designated SOF (Special Operations Forces). The blanket command UKSF functions much as SOCOM does in the U.S. The initial selection course for operators within UKSF is run jointly, though once initial selection is completed, operators go on to specialized training within their parent unit. Some of the units receive more blade training than others due to their infiltration missions, which may entail silent elimination of an enemy. Blackhawk’s new UK-SFK was designed to meet the needs of these British special operators.

uk-sfk-7British Special Forces have a long tradition of close combat with the blade originating with the Commandos and the Fairbairn-Sykes dagger—the most famous close combat knife of all time. The F-S has remained in use with the Royal Marine Commandos who have carried it in the Falklands, both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan. Other UK Special Forces units have used the F-S as well. In fact, in the 40 years I have had contact with British Special Forces, Commandos, and airborne personnel, the only general-issue fighting knife I have seen is the F-S.

However, since British special operators have spent a lot of time fighting counterinsurgency wars in jungles, mountains and deserts, they have made extensive use of utility/bush knives. The Ministry of Defense Survival Knife, which is a heavy-duty, general purpose knife, has been used by some UK special operators, though I have seen it with the Paras more than Special Forces. I have known some Special Forces personnel too, who carried the British aircrew survival knife when jumping. Some HALO specialists also carried them when they jumped. Back in the day, those operators who had trained with U.S. special ops units liked to come home with one of the U.S. orange-scaled, paratrooper automatic knives. I have had a couple of operator friends who used the British Army issue clasp knife, but more liked Swiss Army knives and, more recently, multi-tools.


 

  • Harry Carlin

    The Gerber MkII always was a better option for a simon pure fighting knife…..The FS twists in your hand when wet…….and you cannot extend a finger beyond the guard unless you like slicing your fingers wide open? The FS likewise has no other ‘useful attributes’ apart from killing people. What most Soldiers ‘need’ is a ‘general- purpose-knife’ that will cut webbing, open cans and cut wire and open crates…….a good spear point fighting knife with about a 5″ blade is a damnsight more ‘useful’ and gets ‘used’ a helluva lot more than any ‘sneaky-beaky’ dagger ever would!! Apart from the ‘cool’ factor, I seriously doubt that there are many instances of the FS fighting being used in recent combat……if so I’d be interested to hear of it?? ps// I carried a FS sewn to my boot for many years and not once did it occur to me to ‘use’ the thing. The 12″ Khukri on my webbing however , DID get a workout !!