The global body armor market size was worth USD 2.1 billion in the year 2018 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period. The rising focus on safeguarding soldiers’ lives by the defense agencies is predicted to surge the demand for personal safety suits and equipment. Moreover, the scarcity of ballistic protection suits and growth in asymmetric warfare is different countries like Iraq, India, and South Korea is enhancing industry growth.
Modernization in military programs like the Future Infantry Soldier Technology (FIST) by U.K. and FELIN program by France, and introduction of technically advanced modular tactical vests are the major drivers of the market. The adoption of fibers for producing flexible and lightweight armor and nanotechnology materials is the latest trend driving the market.
An increase in military warfare is fueling the demand for ballistic protection equipment for protecting the army workforces. Countries like China and India are continuously focusing on replacing the traditional military equipment and have increased their expenditure on the defense sector. These advance initiatives have led to new opportunities for the market players and have resulted in the engagement in contractual agreements with military services.
However, the body armor market is receptive to the impact of the present economic scenario. The aftermath of the global recession had negatively influenced the military spending at the global level, thus, declining the opportunities for the industry in the recent past. Countries in Europe including U.K. and Italy observed a decline in the military expenditure since 2008 due to macroeconomic scenarios. However, rise in anti-nationalist activities and terrorism have resulted in increase in demand for body armor for protection applications.
The level II division is predicted to register a considerable CAGR of 6.1% over the forecast period. The growth is attributed to its features relating to protection against 44 magnums, 9-mm sub-machine guns, and 9-mm handguns.
Moreover, the requirement for level IIA segment is expected to rise in the near future due to its applications in law enforcement. The armors are highly suitable for police and army personnel and safeguard against 0.40 Smith & Wesson (S&W) ammunition and 9mm full metal jacket rounds.
Composite ceramics held the largest body armor market share in 2018 based on revenue. The benefits relating to higher performance, lightweight, and ballistic resistance against steel plates are fueling the demand for this segment.
Constant innovations and upgradations in the materials and technology used in the product have fostered the demand for body armors. The use of superior textile materials like nylon and Kevlar that make them lightweight in nature has further contributed to the growth of the product. Moreover, the use of natural fibers made out of cotton, thatch, and silk coupled with metals like steel, iron, and copper have accelerated the demand for body armors by armed services.
Soft armor is highly recommended for activities that require comfortable movement and flexibility due to its lightweight. For example, policemen and private security guards mostly prefer soft armor.
On the other hand, hard variants are thicker and heavier compared to soft armor. They consist of ceramic plates, steel, or titanium that provide higher protection against high-caliber ammunition.
The overt division held the largest body armor market share in 2018 and is expected to be the dominant market by 2025. These are worn beneath normal clothes, and are heavier as well as bulkier since they consist of different layers of Kevlar material. Kevlar provides overt body armors the ability to provide maximum protection against heavy gunfire and large blades/spikes.
Covert type is projected to register the fastest growth from 2019 to 2025. Covert armor is more comfortable to wear and is suitable for security staff and VIP who do not showcase the armor.
Defense held the largest revenue share in 2018. The requirement for defense suits with better stab and ballistic resistance for army officers is the major driver of the growth of the segment.
Defense agencies in countries like Canada, France, and U.S., are aiming at augmenting personal protection for army troops and soldiers in the near future. These economies focus at possessing advanced protective headgears and superior body armors. Moreover, civilian segment application is expected to potentially grow in the near future due to an increase in cases of robberies, burglaries, and home invasions thus, bolstering the demand for armors among the public.
North America held the largest market in 2018. Government military operations like the Soldier Protection System-Torso and Extremity Protection (SPS-TEP) for offering full -body armors to soldiers are expected to accelerate the market growth in the region. Moreover, the increased military expenditure in countries like Canada and U.S. has provided a boost to regional market growth.
Asia Pacific is witnessed as the potential growth market over the years due to the increasing border and warfare disputes in countries like China, South Korea, and India. Rising government spending on the defense sector for arms and protection equipment is also expected to have a favorable impact on the market.
The key players include AR500 Armor; egis Engineering Ltd.; BAE Systems; Craig International Ballistics Pty Ltd.; Ballistic Body Armor Pty; Hellweg International; Ceradyne, Inc.; Kejo Limited Company; Pacific Safety Products; Safariland, LLC; and Point Blank Enterprises, Inc.
The industry participants are focusing on the formation of hi-tech and lightweight bodysuits to provide higher flexibility, performance, and comfort. For example, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) adopted the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) for hi-tech armor for personal safety.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Middle East & Africa
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, and growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Million Insights has segmented the global body armor market report on the basis of level, application, material, product by type, product by style, and region:
• Level Outlook (USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
• Level I
• Level IIA
• Level II
• Level IIIA
• Level III
• Level IV
• Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
• Law enforcement protection
• Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
• Composite Ceramic
• Silicon Carbide (SiC)
• Ceramic-metal Composite
• Boron Carbide
• 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, 2015 - 2025)
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• South Korea
• South America
• Middle East & Africa
• Saudi Arabia
Research Support Specialist, USA