Netherlands arming F-16 pilots with Brugger + Thomet MP9

B&T MP9N (Photo © Starik)

The Dutch press are reporting that the Royal Netherlands Air Force is now issuing Brugger + Thomet MP9 submachine guns to their F-16 pilots flying anti-ISIS missions over Iraq from the Muafaq Al-Salti air base in Jordan. reports (translated from Dutch):

Dutch F-16 pilots have recently aircraft overflying IS area a machine gun for added security. It is a MP9, a small machine gun with thirty patterns. At first the pilots had only so-called single-shot pistol in the standard equipment.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that the “survival” is adapted to the current security situation. “The pilots must be able to operate safely,” said Defense.

The machine gun is small, so it fits easily into the cockpit.

The MP9 is small enough to be holstered (pictured here without side folding stock)

The MP9 is small enough to be holstered (pictured here without side folding stock)

A Dutch reader told me that the pilots are still carrying Glock 17 pistols. They have been issued with 30 round magazines for the MP9. After the horrific execution of the Jordanian pilot, the Dutch military want to give their pilots a fighting chance if they are forced to eject over ISIS territory.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Yeah, I’d call that a reasonable firearm for SERE purposes.

  • Donnie Robertson

    WELL prepared indeed. Hopefully the Muslin bastards / ISIS / ISIL will not have another opportunity to MURDER ANY pilot regardless of nation of service. Hating these animals may be less than “christian” to some people; to me it is perfectly acceptable.

    • Porty1119

      They need to remember that jihad works both ways.

      • Vitsaus

        They don’t need to remember, since they can already see that most of the civilized world governments are terrified of getting in too deep, or even of calling them muslums.

    • john huscio

      Those twill fanatics next to be stopped as well…..

  • Will

    I sincerely hope the Dutch pilots are better shots than the American pilots I’ve seen on the range. While the training and CATM instructors were first rate the fighter pilots could care less.
    Their mind set was ” I’m an officer and I fly fighters. I don’t need to use a pistol. It just gets in the way.
    They all thought they were John Wayne and never took the training seriously. If they had a sub gun they would fire all their ammo in one burst then wonder what to do.
    For some reason the attack and transport pilots couldn’t get enough training. They would ask to fill any empty slots in the classes and were serious about it. Great people.

    • John

      >For some reason the attack and transport pilots couldn’t get enough
      training. They would ask to fill any empty slots in the classes and were
      serious about it.

      From Vietnam to Somalia to the crashed SEAL chopper outside Osama bin Laden’s house, helicopter crews have learned they’ll likely need to tough it out and fight their way through if anything goes wrong. That’s undoubtedly why they’re taking it seriously.

      • mig1nc

        Indeed, my old man had to fight it out in Vietnam in 1965 after crashing a shot up UH-1B. They had M16s and pistols.

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      When a helicopter goes down you tend to be a hell of a lot closer to the enemy than if you have ejected from a fast jet and it is a lot more obvious where you landed. Also, in a helicopter you can carry a proper weapon and a decent amount of ammunition meaning that you are well enough equipped for a fight to make it worth your while training.

      For example, a British Apache pilot would be wearing a vest with a hard armour plate, have a pistol with a few mags, a carbine with a 20 round mag, 4 spare 30 rounders, a bandoleer of 120 rounds in stripper clips, and maybe even a few grenades. That is just in the cockpit mind you, in the boot depending on the crewman’s preference they might have a full set of infantry armour and load carrying equipment along with extra ammo. Contrasting this to a jet pilot, they have a 9mm pistol with maybe an extra magazine.

    • Rusty

      I guess you are the authority on the attitude of all fighter pilots. Maybe tone down the generalized ignorant statements?

  • hikerguy

    Good choice. A VERY good choice.

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    I assume this would be in the survival kit in the ejector seat and the Glock still in the vest right? If not, then it is an incredibly bad idea.

    I remember that Radway Greene used to use this stupid stages photo of a Tornado pilot getting into his cockpit with an MP7 strapped to his thigh on their website. Not only would you not be able to sit in the seat properly, it would block a large number of the controls and would more than likely be ripped off during an ejection anyway.

    At one point the RAF replaced their Browning HPs with Walther PPs as they were too heavy during high G manoeuvring and there were complaints about them simply tearing off of the vest during ejection. I imagine a PDW larger than a pistol would be even worse unless it was tucked away inside the seat.

    • Dirites

      Yes, its in their survival kit.

  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    Welp, The America has done something similar during their 2005 US Navy F/A-37 Talon project fighter by giving their pilots H&K MP7. It was superior than the whole North Korea company with Kalashnikov and SVD.

    (This is a joke. Please don’t kill me)

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Norwegian F-16 pilots, along with drivers, medics and other functions, has the MP7…

  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    I’ll just leave it here. If Americans during the cold war, decided to armed their pilot with something more deadlier than .38 revolver or .45 M1911, I think this is what pilots early PDW looks like.

    • Tsubabaka

      So where are the sights on this weapon?also if this is the real size of the rifle (5cm)it will be consider as a conceal weapon :p
      This rifle called FPW firing port weapon have been designed for tank crews but never issued(i think)

      • roguetechie

        Actually the m231 is still actively in mech unit inventories and the Bradley’s still have two firing ports that are usable. (either side of the rear ramp)

        It also was unofficially but fairly widely used as a backup gun kept up in ring mounts. It’s also a pretty good choice for that sort of thing considering the mg42 fast cyclic rate, and it being intended to be loaded with a load of 100% old style tracer. ( aka the tracer matched with m193) It also has a nonstandard but vastly superior for sustained fire heavy profile barrel.

        The m231 is also unique in having a very short buffer tube and nested spring buffer, oh and it’s also striker fired open bolt not hammer fired. The fire control group and even positioning of the pins are different. It also has simplified internal and external components. Plus the really cool shorty handguard and threaded gas block. Unfortunately there is no provision for a rear sight in the carry handle and no place for a front sight. (hence the tracers)

        However the m231 was not a survival weapon. As far as fighter pilot and bomber crew weapons go, there have been several very interesting proposals and some were even developed pretty extensively.

        The most notable weapon in this category is Dale M. Davis’ IMP / guu-4p / colt Imp / arm gun. This gun over a period of time was tested in calibers from .17 HV 221 Fireball a 7.62 subsonic round pretty similar to 300 BLK 5.56 NATO and at least one other. The original IMP was licensed by Mack Gwinn who used it as the basis for a 5.56 arm gun and a 5.56 rifle known as the bushmaster. It actually saw use with military helicopter crews especially in south and central America. (The idea being you could fire one handed and not eject rounds into your rotors) However it was never an American aircrew weapon.

        Bonus: MGI military and the Gwinns apparently still have a few virgin pre 86 registered lowers and parts, and occasionally toy with the idea of doing a modernized special edition production run.

        Other compact forage optimized guns have came and went but it’s mostly been a hodgepodge of armory shopping, personal pistols and crewman choice.

        Helicopter crews have carried mp5 variants at one point but no idea what they have now.

    • rjackparis

      hate to break it to you, but thats the boss’s gun from metal gear solid the ” Patriot”, a plastic model for an action figure at that.

      • Azril @ Alex Vostox

        Welp, I waiting for someone to recognized that thing! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE THE WINNER!! Here’s your prize!

        But. Seriously, I’m saying it was still an interesting concept IF, cold war era-USAF decided to provided their pilot with a super shorty M16 as combat PDW with a high-capacity magazine.

    • Andrew Hobby


  • Lance

    A bit large for a holstered pilots side arm.

  • I’m glad to see the MP9 getting more widely adopted. One of the lightest and most compact SMG’s of our time, and very controllable during my brief (25rds) playtime with it. However I did hear from the armorers that they are tricky to maintain.

    • Alex

      Who when and how?

      • JumpIf NotZero

        I owned a TP9 SBR… Couldnt sell that gun fast enough. They are down right stupid in their action. Might have a place in security or police but as a “serious” hard use gun it would be a joke.

      • I was on vacation in Miami, and the #1 tourist recommendation was “Lock and Load Miami: Machine Gun Experience.” I rented the P90, MP7, and MP9. It was very expensive, but completely worth it. The range itself is very clean and friendly, with a nice design aesthetic.

  • SAM

    I’m a AFSOC pilot, we’ve been asking for something similar but it’s not approved. We’re flying single engine aircraft over the same territory, and our M9 & M4s are in terrible shape. Lots of easy fixes have been proposed, including letting us tweak our issue weapons, but to no avail. Frustrating to see our coalition partners better equipped than us.

  • valorius

    Seems to me a suppressed subsonic high capacity pistol would be a much better choice.

    Silence is truly golden when you are shot down and alone behind enemy lines.

  • valorius

    What, no one has called it a glorified .22 magnum yet?

  • roguetechie

    Yeah the scamp in my opinion had a bunch more going for it than the 5.7 pistol, and while I love the styling of the p90, a 4 digit blowback smg is plain insulting!

    Personally while I love the MP9 styling, have you seen the inside of the things? Plus they appear to have thrown darts to decide what parts to Insanely over build and what parts to just have a third tier Chinese airsoft manufacturer slam out on Fridays and Mondays.

    With all that said though if they would’ve made the 6.5cbj kits and ammo available (and the cbj-ms “soupcan drum” naturally) I’d have paid what it took to get a tax stamp and the rest of the set.


    • The TMP / MP9 internals is a bit of a paradox. The delayed blowback, rotating barrel design is what gives it it’s low recoil, light weight, and acceptable rate of fire- everything that makes it so great.

      However the same design also makes it much more complex than a straight blowback, and apparently causes issues with maintainence and reliability.

      The 5-7 is a fantastic pistol, and not really comparable with the SCAMP in terms of size, weight, and barrel length. The Scamp is 2x the weight and 11.4″ long.

      What I would love to see is a 5-7 with a 3 round burst selector and provision for a quick detachable stock like the Glock. That would make for the ideal sidearm for the military as the 5.7 is the most effective current FMJ caliber, has very low recoil, and can defeat modern helmets.

      For a PDW, I think a modern version of the SCAMP, also in 5.7×28, with a sliding wire stock and micro red dot. Basically a lighter, shorter HM MP7 in a better caliber.

      SCAMP= 2.25 lbs, 11.4″ OAL, 9″ barrel
      HK MP7= 4.18 lbs, 16″ OAL, 7″ Barrel

  • Zebra Dun

    Sounds like a really good idea.
    I recall Pilots of the Vietnam era carrying .38 spl revolvers, S&W and Colts or 1911A1’s all loaded with flare rounds.
    The idea was not to shoot the locals but to signal for rescue.
    Late in the war of course.

  • Just sayin…

    After what the ISIS-holes did to that Jordanian pilot, my advice would be to save the last bullet for yourself.

  • mrsatyre

    They should equip them with X95s instead.

  • Freek de Man

    Thirty patterns is a translation error, I guess from the word ‘patroon’ wich means cartridge, or shell.

  • desert

    Good idea, now give them some squirt bottles full of pigs blood and they will be all set, oh, and some “silver bullet” gun oil with pig oil in it!!

  • jcitizen

    Why is it the armed forces have to re-learn what we already knew in Vietnam about pilot rescue! Simply have a team of quick responders to any shoot downs, and haul @ss to save the pilot. I doubt helicopter gun ships are fast enough, but a good cheap single engine turbo prop plane, or the A-10, and the Osprey come to mine for a killer combo.

  • petru sova

    You can always count on the weapons procurement people to be direct decedents of the Neanderthals. It makes no sense what-so-ever. Full auto weapons use tremendous quantities of ammo and run out very quickly, the last thing you want in a survival situation. And under stress even a well trained pilot might be tempted to do just that. Contrary to belief the unbalanced size of the sub-gun makes it less likely you will hit anything with it even if it is capable of semi-auto fire. Its size is still way bigger and heavier than a pistol. It is not concealable and in some cases fleeing pilots have been known to dress like the locals so a concealable pistol is an asset and a sub gun a joke.
    Although in the U.S. of Hay the current stamped sheet metal slide cheapy the Sig P228 is a poor excuse for a weapon it is smaller than the Beretta, takes up less room and is way more concealable. As long as too many hot Nato rounds are not fired through it the gun will do the job.
    The Star 30PK would have been the ideal pistol as it was one of the most rugged 9mm pistols ever made and in my opinion the Star 30M was the greatest full size high capacity 9mm of the 20th century. Colt at one time even had a deal going to import them with the Colt name on them. It was one of Colt’s greatest FK ups ever as if Colt would have put it up against the anemic Sig P228 the outcome would have been pre-ordained.
    Its a shame the Netherlands did not contract with someone to make the Star 30 series of pistols for them but again since the pistol is not made of junk modern plasticky parts or stamped sheet metal or junk MIM castings the cost would be a few pennies higher for a quality pistol and that has been outlawed in the 21st century.