The global body armor market size was valued at USD 1, 735.6 million in 2018 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period. Rapid escalations across sensitive borderlines and cross-border terrorist insurgencies are creating a requirement for body armor. Body armor provides safety to soldiers in military operations. The advanced body armors provide strength and protection from IED explosions, bullet-wounds and ricochets. These body armors are frequently used by security forces and law-keepers across the globe to carry out law-enforcement tasks.
High investment in defense spending to offer improved and innovative safety measures using sophisticated technology to defense personnel to protect them from various calamities in the battlefield are factors that will push the market upwards during forecast period. Furthermore, factors such as weight of uniforms, weapons and other gear makes it difficult for soldier to lug around and is a restraining factor to growth. However, protecting workforce from frugalities of war and thriving investments in body armor development are prime factors for generating opportunities for companies to access untapped growth creating new areas of revenue-generation which will supplement market growth.
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Growing cross-border tensions, tense war-like situations and regional warfare and an increased stimulus by way of government thought for safety of armed forces personnel drives growth for market. The body armors are devised in a manner that shunts bludgeoning attacks and are categorized on their ability to deflect bullets. Earlier body armors were only licensed to soldiers but now due to war like tensions in the border areas, it is used by security guards, police and individuals to feel safe and secure. The body armor protects army personnel and security forces from flying mortar shrapnel.
Technological advancements are driving momentum to this market as there is rise in use of innovative products such as liquid body armor and dragon skin. Furthermore, demand for modular tactical vests and double-sided combat uniforms are increasing owing to their benefits such as enhanced protection and soldier survival. Outstanding manufacturers of personnel protection suits are pouring funds into R&D efforts for development of advanced fibers, fabrics and nanotechnology materials to make body armor sound and strong. Modular tactical vests are replacing conventional outer tactical vests (OTV) that limits soldier’s freedom of movement.
The market is primarily segmented on the basis of armor level, material type, application, product type, product style and geographic region.
By Material Type
By Application Type
By Product Type
By Product Style
By Region Type
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Level IIA segment is one of the most commonly used armor types however it is getting outdated since more advanced armor levels are available in the market. Due to this, it is estimated that the growth rate of this armor would be slow as compared to its other counterparts. Similarly, it is expected that the demand for the Level II armor would grow with a considerable rate since these types of armor are designed to stop most common handgun shots which would include 45acp, 9mm etc. Due to this, this level type is gaining traction in the market.
Composite ceramics contributed to a major market share of body armor in 2018 and is expected to continue this growth during the forecast period. This is majorly due to the benefits which include higher performance, better ballistic resistance and is lighter than steel plates. These advantages are driving growth for composite material. Furthermore, other man-made synthetic fibers such as aramids are widely used in body armor. These materials are strong and have heat resistant capabilities and good strength-to-weight ratio.
Companies such as DuPont developed para-aramid materials such as Kevlar and Twaron which are majorly used as body armor materials for vests. They are flexible, light weight and offer a high level of protection. Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, or UHMWPE on the other hand are also used as material for body armor, which are made up of polyolefin. Due to their high strength to weight ratio as compared to aramid fibers, they are gaining traction in the market, with companies coming up with body armors mad using UHMWPE.
The defense and security personnel segment was one of the major segment in 2018 and is expected to continue the growth during the forecast period. The North American market was estimated to be 469.5 million in 2018. The market for body armor is heavily leveraged by land, marine and naval defense forces. However, the market is still untapped with new advanced technologies and therefore companies are making huge investment in R&D of light-weight body armor as per soldier’s needs. The standards set by the U.S. Department of Defense and UK Ministry of Defense are followed with a number of companies engaged in development of body armor. Similarly, law enforcement is another segment which is expected to grow at a considerable rate. Majority of the law enforcement agencies in developing countries are adopting to advanced body armors due to increasing incidents of violence.
North America stands head and shoulders above the rest of countries as major survivability program is being conducted in this region which includes development of body armor and personal protection system. Countries like India, Germany and Japan are understood to increase their artillery line-up in order to recover from lack of military personnel. This is anticipated to drive market in the future. The law enforcement protection segment is expected to rise remarkably compared to defense and civilian segments, particularly in U.S. owing to significant rise in crime-rates and incidents of mass shooting. The market in North America is registering prolific growth in market due to government initiatives, modernization strategy and soldier protection system.
The continuous requirement of advanced equipment by defense organizations in the U.S., France, Germany and Russia makes North America and Europe as major markets for defense spends. Furthermore, law-enforcement agencies attract high spending that is responsible for growth in these regions. Developing nations such as India and China are harping on replacement of legacy military equipment and spending substantially on defense. Modernization activities are making inroads in body armor market hinting at several growth opportunities during forecast period.
Companies are continuously investing in R&D activities and are coming up with next generation body armors with advanced technology. Body armor materials such as Dyneema and Spectra were developed for higher flexibility and light weight. The key leading players in the market include BAE Systems, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., U.S. Armor Corporation, DuPont Deenside LTD., Blank Enterprises, Inc., Sarkar Defense Solutions, MKU Pvt. Ltd., Safariland LLC, Uvex Group, Avon Protections Systems, Inc. and Ceredyne (3M) among others.