Body Armor Industry Insights
The global body armor market size was valued at USD 3,939.7 million in 2015. The ever increasing focus of defense agencies on ensuring soldier survivability is impelling the demand for body armor and personal safety suits. The shortage of ballistic protection suits and rise in asymmetric warfare among various countries, such as South Korea, Iraq, and India, is further accelerating the industry growth.
The technological advances and introduction of innovative products, such as modular tactical vests along with military modernization programs including the UK’s Future Infantry Soldier Technology (FIST) program and France’s FELIN program, are the key instruments that are maintaining the industry prospects upbeat. The usage of nanotechnology materials and fibers for manufacturing lightweight and flexible armor is the recent trend which is favorably impacting the industry. Advanced technologies such as dragon skin and liquid body armor are substantially contributing to the market growth.
However, the industry is highly susceptible to the existing economic conditions. The after-effects of the global recession had taken a toll on the global military spending, driving down the industry growth opportunities in the recent past. European countries, such as Germany, Russia, and the UK, have witnessed cuts in the defense budgets, owing to the financial crisis and macroeconomic conditions. However, the increasing terrorist activities and anti-nationalist activities have led to the incessant adoption of body armor for defense and law enforcement protection applications.
North American body armor market revenue by type, 2014 - 2024 (USD Million)
The body armor industry, on the basis of type, has been classified as type 1, type 2A, type 2, type 3A, type 3, and type 4. The type 4body armor segment accounted for 24.4% of the overall market share (in terms of revenue) in 2015. However, the segment is predicted to slightly lose its share to account for 23.3% of the overall market share by 2024.
The demand for the type 2Aarmors is anticipated to grow over the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to the rise in the demand for this type of product in the law enforcement application segment. The armor is well-suited for police forces and offers protection for officers against40 Smith & Wesson (S&W) ammunition.
The industry has been categorized on the basis of application as defense, law enforcement protection, and civilians. The defense segment accounted for 55.4% of the overall market share(in terms of revenue) in 2015. The increasing need for providing defense suits with enhanced ballistic and stab resistance for soldiers is one of the primary drivers for the market growth in the defense sector.
The demand for the body armor in the civilian application segment accounted for 7.4% of the total market share (in terms of revenue) in 2015. A rise in burglaries, home invasions, and robberies is driving the demand for armor suits among the general public.
The composite ceramics segment accounted for 30.9% of the overall market share(in terms of revenue) in 2015. Manifold advantages such as better ballistic resistance, higher performance, and lighter weight than steel plates are impelling the demand for composite ceramic materials in body armor.
The North American region dominated the global body armor market, accounting for over 49.5% of the global market share (in terms of revenue) in 2015. The government military programs such as the Soldier Protection System-Torso and Extremity Protection (SPS-TEP) program for providing full body armor to the armed forces are anticipated to incite growth in the regional market. The regional growth is further accelerated by the higher military spending in countries such as the U.S. and Canada.
The large-scale modernization activities of traditional systems in the emerging economies and rise in the warfare& border disputes in the Asia Pacific countries, such as India, China, and South Korea, are driving the demand for body armors in this region. In August 2014, The Republic of Korea Army awarded a contract to DSM Dyneema (a brand of DSM N.V.)for South Korea’s multi-purpose body armor program.
The need for providing personal protection to the ground troops in the Asia Pacific region, along with steady investments by the government for acquiring competitive arms and personal protection equipment, is expected to energize the regional market growth prospects.
Competitive Market Share Insights
The key players dominating the industry include Aegis Engineering Ltd., AR500 Armor, BAE Systems, Ballistic Body Armor (Pty) Ltd., Craig International Ballistics Pty Ltd., Hellweg International, Kejo Limited Company, Pacific Safety Products Inc., Point Blank Enterprises, Inc., and Safariland LLC. The industry players are emphasizing on developing lightweight and hi-tech bodysuits for delivering enhanced comfort, flexibility, and performance. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) is a prominent example of hi-tech personal safety armor, which is adopted by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).
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