The FN P90 is a personal defense weapon (PDW) designed and manufactured by FN Herstal in Belgium. Created in response to NATO requests for a replacement for 9×19mm Parabellum firearms, the P90 was designed as a compact but powerful firearm for vehicle crews, operators of crew-served weapons, support personnel, special forces and counter-terrorist groups.
Designed by FN in conjunction with the FN Five-seven pistol and FN 5.7×28mm ammunition, development of the weapon began in 1986, and production commenced in 1990 (from which the “90” in its name is derived, whereupon the 5.7×28mm ammunition was redesigned and shortened. A modified version of the P90 with a magazine adapted to use the new ammunition was introduced in 1993, and the Five-seven pistol was subsequently introduced as a companion weapon using the same 5.7×28mm ammunition.
Featuring a compact bullpup design with an integrated reflex sight and fully ambidextrous controls, the P90 is an unconventional weapon with a futuristic appearance. Its design incorporates several innovations such as a unique top-mounted magazine and FN’s small-caliber, high-velocity 5.7×28mm ammunition.
The P90 is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations, such as Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, India, Malaysia, Poland, and the United States. In the United States, the P90 is in use with over 200 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. While developed and initially marketed as a PDW, it can also be considered a submachine gun or compact assault rifle. The standard selective fire P90 is restricted to military and law enforcement customers, but since 2005, a semi-automatic version has been offered to civilian shooters as the PS90.