Optical fibre pressure sensors have potential performance advantages over electrical sensors in measuring rapid transients such as shock waves from explosive blasts. We report the development of micromachined optical fibre Fabry-Pérot pressure sensors using a silicon dioxide or nitride diaphragm and detail the fabrication stages of the sensor body and diaphragm. The planar technology used is based on silicon deep etching and direct fusion bonding of silicon wafers. Test results for both types of diaphragm are presented. Sensors with rise times better than 3 ?s, range 0.1 to 1 MPa and resolution ~500 Pa have been demonstrated in explosives trials. Despite the difference in the sign of stress for the two diaphragm types, both demonstrated excellent high-speed response to explosively generated air shocks. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.