The global body armor market size was valued at USD 4.09 billion in 2016. 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.
The body armor is a sensitive market and is governed by various regulations and acts. It is tested by three regulations that include National Institute of Justice (NIJ), United States Department of Defense (DoD), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL India). Manufacturers need to comply with the standards in order to test the level of intensity body armor can withstand any threat.
In addition to this, the standards help to recognize the strength of the attack that a body armor would be able to combat. Regulatory changes, in order to ensure enhanced safety, are creating a challenging environment for the vendors. Furthermore, certain laws guiding the ownership and possession of body armor, such as Body Armor Control Act and Body Armor Possession Act 2015, are inhibiting the wide adoption in the emerging countries such as India.
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 for defense and law enforcement protection applications.
On the basis of type, the report has been classified as type 1, type 2A, type 2, type 3A, type 3, and type 4. The type 4 body 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 and remain at 23.3% of the overall share by 2024.
The demand for the type 2A 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. This is well-suited for police forces and offers protection for officers against 40 Smith & Wesson (S&W) ammunition.
The composite ceramics segment accounted for 30.9% of the overall share (in terms of revenue) in 2015. Manifold advantages such as better ballistic resistance, higher performance, and lighter than steel plates are impelling the demand for composite ceramic materials as raw material.
Steel is amongst the most commonly used materials for producing body armor. The steel ballistic plates are commonly used for providing ballistic resistance and safety of important parts including the torso. Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) provides high performance and ballistic resistance in demanding life protection conditions.
Aramid is used extensively in the soft ballistic protection suits. The use of aramid helps to lower the weight and improves comfort. Composite ceramics are increasingly being used, as ceramics are nearly half the weight of steel and deliver high performance and can survive multiple hits from rifles.
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 defense application segment emerged as a dominating segment in terms of the penetration rate. However, the growth rate of the market is expected to be less as compared to other segments over the forecast period.
The high penetration of in the defense application segment is attributed to the emerging trend of modernizing military equipment and legacy systems. The escalating need for ensuring the safety of soldiers and military personnel is further leading to a large-scale procurement of body armor across the globe.
The demand for the body armor in the civilian application segment accounted for 7.4% of the total share (in terms of revenue) in 2015. A rise in burglaries, home invasions, and robberies is driving the demand for such suits among the general public.
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 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.
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).
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2015
2016 - 2024
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2016 to 2024
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, France, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Argentina and Brazil
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2024. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global body armor market report based on type, application, material and region:
Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2024)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2024)
Law Enforcement Protection
Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2024)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2024)
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