The global body armor market size was valued at USD 2.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2019 to 2025. Increasing focus of defense agencies on ensuring soldier survivability is driving the demand for personal safety equipment and suits. The shortage of ballistic protection suits and rise in asymmetric warfare in various countries, such as South Korea, Iraq, and India, is further accelerating the industry growth.
Technological advances and introduction of innovative products such as modular tactical vests and military modernization programs such as the U.K.’s Future Infantry Soldier Technology (FIST) program and France’s FELIN program are the key factors driving the market. Usage of nanotechnology materials and fibers for manufacturing lightweight and flexible armors is one of the recent trends benefitting the market expansion.
The surge in military warfare is propelling the need for ballistic protection equipment for safeguarding the army personnel. Emerging economies such as India and China are persistently focusing on the replacement of legacy military equipment and are subsequently increasing their spending on the defense sector. Such modernization activities are opening up new avenues for the industry participants and are leading to the formation of a contractual environment with military agencies.
However, the industry is highly susceptible to the effects of existing economic conditions. The aftereffects of the global recession had a negative influence on global military spending, driving down the industry growth opportunities in the recent past. European countries such as Italy and U.K. witnessed a reduction in military spending since 2008, owing to macroeconomic conditions. However, increasing terrorist activities and anti-nationalist activities have led to incessant adoption of body armor for defense and law enforcement protection applications.
The level II segment is anticipated to exhibit a noticeable CAGR of 6.1% from 2019 to 2025. The level II panel offers protection against 9-mm handguns, 44 magnums, and 9-mm sub-machine guns, and is lightweight in nature.
Demand for level IIA is also anticipated to increase over the forecast period. The growth of this segment can be attributed to a surge in demand in 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.
The composite ceramics segment dominated the market in 2018 in terms of revenue. Manifold advantages such as better ballistic resistance, higher performance, and lightweight as compared to steel plates are propelling the demand for use of 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 (which are woven in textile forms), to various metals, such as iron, steel, and copper (which are used in chainmail and plate forms), and further to the technologically complex variants that are being currently 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 armor with improved ballistic protection capabilities. The lightweight feature particularly enhances the mobility and response time of security personnel, law enforcement officers, and military troops.
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 of these variants. For instance, private security guards and policemen consider a soft armor to be their ideal choice.
Demand for body armor is expected to increase as technological innovations and modernization initiatives prompt security agencies and military forces to opt for the latest equipment. Hard variants tend to be comparatively heavier and thicker as compared to soft armor. It features titanium, steel, or ceramic plates that are able to withstand high-caliber ammunition. It also offers a higher level of protection as compared to the softer product variants.
The overt segment dominated the market in 2018 and is projected to continue its domination over the forecast period. Overt body armors are worn on the 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.
Covert type is expected to witness the highest growth over the forecast period. When compared with the overt kind, covert armor 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 armor.
The defense segment accounted for the largest share of the overall revenue in 2018. The increasing need for providing defense suits with enhanced ballistic and stab resistance for soldiers is one of the primary drivers of the segment growth.
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 headgear and capabilities of body armors. Furthermore, demand in the civilian application segment is anticipated to increase significantly over the forecast period owing to a rise in burglaries, home invasions, and robberies, which are driving the demand for armor suits among the general public.
North America dominated the global body armor market in 2018. Government military programs such as the Soldier Protection System-Torso and Extremity Protection (SPS-TEP) program for providing full body armors to armed forces are anticipated to incite the growth of the regional market. The region’s growth is further accelerated by higher military spending in countries such as the U.S. and Canada.
A large-scale modernization of traditional systems in emerging economies and increasing instances of warfare and border disputes in the Asia Pacific countries such as India, China, and South Korea are driving the demand for body armors in Asia Pacific. The need for providing personal protection to ground troops in the region, in addition to investments by different governments to acquire arms and personal protection equipment, is expected to improve the growth prospects for the regional market.
Key players dominating 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.
Industry 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 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and MEA
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Russia, Italy, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, 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 provides an analysis of the latest industry 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 by type, product by 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 by Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Plates & Inserts
Plates & Inserts
Product by 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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