The global body armor market size was valued at USD 1.9 billion in 2017 and is anticipated expand at a CAGR of 5.5%, from 2018 to 2025. Increasing focus of defense agencies on ensuring soldier survivability is driving the demand for bodysuits and personal safety suits. Shortage of ballistic protection suits coupled with rise in asymmetric warfare in various countries such as South Korea, Iraq, and India is anticipated to further accelerate the growth.
Technological advancements and introduction of innovative products such as modular tactical vests and military modernization programs such as the Future Infantry Soldier Technology (FIST) program of U.K. and the FELIN program of France are the key factors driving the market growth. Usage of nanotechnology materials and fibers for manufacturing lightweight and flexible armors is one of the recent trends favorably influencing the growth.
Rise in military warfare is propelling the need for ballistic protection equipment for safeguarding the army personnel. Emerging economies such as India and China are continually focusing on the replacement of legacy military equipment and are subsequently increasing their spending on the defense sector. Such modernization activities are creating growth opportunities for industry participants and are leading to the formation of contractual environment with military agencies.
However, the market is highly susceptible to the effects of existing economic conditions. The aftereffects of the global recession had a negative influence on the global military spending, driving down the growth opportunities in the recent past. European countries such as Italy and U.K. have reduced their military spending since 2008, owing to the 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.
Based on level, the market has been segmented into level I, level IIA, level II, level IIIA, level III, and level IV. The level II body armor segment is anticipated to expand at a noticeable CAGR of 4.7% from 2018 to 2025. The panels of these bodysuits offers protection against 9-mm handguns, 44 magnums, and 9-mm sub-machine guns, and is designed to be lightweight. The demand is also anticipated to increase over the forecast period. The growth of this segment can be attributed to the increasing demand from the law enforcement application segment. These armors are well-suited for police forces and offer protection against 9mm full metal jacket rounds and .40 Smith & Wesson (S&W) ammunition.
Based on material, the market has been segmented into steel, Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), aramid, composite ceramic, and others. The composite ceramics segment emerged dominant in 2017, in terms of revenue. Manifold advantages such as better ballistic resistance, higher performance, and light weight compared to steel plates, are propelling the demand for composite ceramic materials in body armor.
Body armors have been upgraded constantly, from the use of easily accessible materials, such as natural fibers made from silk, cotton, and thatch woven in textile forms, to metals such as iron, steel, and copper used in chainmail and plate forms, to the technologically complex suits currently being used by law enforcement and armed services.
Continuous innovations in materials and manufacturing technologies have led to the advent of advanced textile materials, such as Kevlar and nylon, which can be used to produce lightweight body armor with improved ballistic protection capabilities. The lightweight feature can particularly enhance the mobility and response time of security personnel, law enforcement officers, and military troops.
Based on product by type, the body armor market has been trifurcated into accessories and soft and hard armor. Soft armor is considered to be an ideal choice for professions where flexibility and comfortable movement are of paramount importance, owing to the lightweight feature. For instance, private security guards and policemen consider them to be their ideal choice.
The demand is expected to rise as technological innovations and modernization initiatives prompt security agencies and military forces to opt for the latest equipment. Hard armors tend to be heavier and thicker as it features titanium, steel, or ceramic plates able to withstand high-caliber ammunition. It also offers a higher level of protection as compared to the soft one.
Based on product style, the market has been segmented into covert and overt. The overt segment is projected to continue leading over the forecast period.Overt body armors are worn on top of the clothing and are often bulkier and heavier as they are engineered using various layers of Kevlar. Due to the use of Kevlar, overt body armors are able to offer a higher level of protection from large spikes/blades and heavy gunfire.
Furthermore, covert body armor is expected to witness the highest CAGR over the forecast period. These products can be worn comfortably beneath a regular clothing or a standard uniform. This benefit makes it ideal for use by a Very Important Person (VIP) and security staff who do not prefer showcasing the body armor.
Based on application, the market has been segmented into defense, law enforcement protection, and civilians. The defense segment accounted for the largest market share in 2017. Rising need for providing defense suits with enhanced ballistic and stab resistance for soldiers is one of the primary drivers of the segment growth in the defense sector.
Defense agencies in developed countries such as U.S., Canada, and France are laying high emphasis on enhancing personal protection for armed forces and ground troops and are focusing on upgrading the conventional protective headgears and capabilities of bodysuits. Demand from civilian application segment is also anticipated to grow significantly over the forecast period owing to the rise in burglaries, home invasions, and robberies, which is driving the demand among general public.
North America led the global market in 2017. Government military programs, such as the Soldier Protection System-Torso and Extremity Protection (SPS-TEP) program for providing full body armors to the armed forces, are anticipated to incite the growth of the regional market. Higher military spending in countries such as U.S. and Canada is anticipated to further drive the growth.
Large-scale modernization of traditional systems in the emerging economies and increasing instances of warfare and border disputes in the countries, such as India, China, and South Korea are driving the demand in Asia Pacific. The need for providing personal protection to ground troops in the region, in addition to investments by different governments for acquiring arms and personal protection equipment, is expected to improve the growth prospects of the regional market.
Key players operating in the market include Aegis Engineering Ltd., AR500 Armor, BAE Systems, Ballistic Body Armor Pty, Craig International Ballistics Pty Ltd., Ceradyne, Inc., Hellweg International, Kejo Limited Company, Pacific Safety Products, Point Blank Enterprises, Inc., and Safariland, LLC.
The market players are emphasizing on developing lightweight and hi-tech bodysuits for delivering enhanced comfort, flexibility, and performance. Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) is a prominent example of hi-tech personal safety armor. It has been adopted by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014, 2015, and 2016
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2018 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, MEA
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Russia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, and UAE
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)
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This report provides forecasts for revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and analyses of the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global body armor market report based on level, application, material, product type, product style, and region:
Level Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Law enforcement protection
Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Silicon Carbide (SiC)
Product Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Plates & Inserts
Plates & Inserts
Product Style Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Asia Pacific (APAC)
Middle East & Africa (MEA)
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