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Body Armor Market

Body Armor Market: Information by Product Type (Soft Armor, Hard Armor, and Accessories), Application (Defense, Law Enforcement Protection, and Civilians), and Regions—Forecast till 2030

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Market Snapshot

market snapshot
Base Year:
2021
Study Period:
2020-2030
CAGR:
6.20 %
Fastest Growing Market:
Asia-Pacific
Largest Market:
North America

The global body armor market size was valued at USD 2.2 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 3.78 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.20% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Body armor is protective clothing developed to absorb or deflect physical attacks. Soldiers specifically wear body armor, a combination of a vest, helmet, and shield, to protect themselves from piercing blows, bullets, or any other weapon. Security guards, law enforcement officers, and even some civilians enthusiastically adopt the body armors, which was historically made for military personnel. One of the key elements driving the growth of the body armor market is the rising demand for protective gear among civilians due to the rise in terrorism and anti-national activities. The primary vital players' increasing use of technology to develop environmentally friendly protective equipment will open up lucrative market expansion opportunities.

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Market Dynamics

Global Body Armor Market Drivers

Greater Demand for Improving Soldier Safety and Ensuring Survivability

Counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and guerrilla warfare operations are examples of contemporary warfare tactics that could cause fatal injuries to soldiers. Similar situations occur in the field of law enforcement, where criminals, felons, and other lawbreakers have the potential to fatally hurt corresponding officers, necessitating the purchase of personal protection suits and related gear. As a result, there is a growing need for ballistic protection gear and suits to protect military forces worldwide. Additionally, modernization initiatives have opened several doors for sector players, resulting in contractual alliances with military organizations.

Proliferation of Cutting-Edge Technology Products

The body armor industry is steadily changing due to technological advancement. Innovative methods like liquid body armor, dragon skin, and DEFCON have increased demand over the past few years. Additionally, modular tactical vests and double-sided combat uniforms are in greater demand because they provide excellent protection. Over the forecast period, technological advancements and the expanding availability of lightweight body armor are anticipated to fuel market growth. Furthermore, improved body armor systems are being developed to reduce discomfort and fatigue, which lower a soldier's tactical effectiveness.

Global Body Armor Market Restraints

Strict Government Guidelines

The body armor plate market is delicate and subject to numerous laws and regulations. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the United States Department of Defense (DoD), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL India) are the three regulatory organizations that test the quality of body armor. The requirements for testing the level of intensity the body armor can withstand against any threat must be met by vendors producing and selling armor plates. In addition, the standard can be used to determine the level of attack an armor plate can withstand. Regulations being changed to ensure more excellent safety make it difficult for market vendors to compete. Body armor plate ownership is prohibited in some Australian states and territories, including South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales. This is anticipated to hinder market growth over the forecast period.

Global Body Armor Market Opportunities

Increasing Spending by Industry Leaders to Create Lightweight Body Armor

Metals and alloys were traditionally used to create armor. These armors are usually made of steel and are heavy, awkward, and ineffective. Heavy metals add to the weight of the armor, making it challenging to carry for an extended period. Body armor manufacturers are developing lightweight armor systems to address heavy armor issues. The U.S. Department of Defense took various initiatives to create next-generation body armor, such as the Torso & Extremities Protection (TEP) and Warrior Web Program (WWP). Demand for material technologies that optimize cost, weight, and protection is present in the armor material market. Manufacturers of body armor and raw material suppliers work together to create new body armor components that incorporate these upgrades. For lightweight personal protection armor, body armor designers use cutting-edge manufacturing techniques like molded glass ceramics and ceramic composite matrixes, flexible steel fiber meshes, and new bonding materials.

Segmental Analysis

The global body armor market is segmented by level, application, material, product type, and product style.

Based on level, the global market is bifurcated into level I, level IIA, level II, level IIIA, level III, and level IV.

The level IV segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period. Level IV body armor plates dominated the market in 2020 with a share of 25.0%. It can withstand threats that Level I, Level II, Level IIA, and Level III body armor cannot, including 30 caliber bullets and single-hit protection. Thus, many governments equip their armies with Level IV body armor. For instance, the final version of the National Institute of Justice Standard 0101.07 is expected to improve ballistic resistance testing and performance standards.

Based on the application, the global market is bifurcated into defense, law enforcement protection, and civilians.

The defense segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. This high share can be attributed to the soldiers' growing need for defense suits supported by improved ballistic and stab resistance. Defense organizations in developed nations, including the U.S., Canada, and France, place a premium on enhancing personal protection for military personnel and are thus concentrating on improving the functionality of traditional body armor and protective headgear. In addition, the demand for body armor in the civilian application segment is anticipated to increase significantly over the forecast period.

The general public's demand for armor suits is driven by increased home invasions, robberies, and burglaries. The NIJ played a crucial role in creating contemporary body armor for police officers, so the law enforcement protection application is anticipated to expand significantly over the forecast period. For instance, in recent years, a significant number of law enforcement protection officers have been spared from severe injuries by donning ballistic-resistant body armor, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police/DuPont Kevlar Survivors' Club.

Based on the material, the global market is bifurcated into steel, UHMWPE, aramid, and composite ceramics.

The composite ceramics segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. Composite ceramic material held the majority (31.8%) of the market share for body armor. This high percentage can be attributed to the popularity of alumina ceramic among armor producers because it provides better thermal stability. As a result, alumina ceramic armor plates are typically given to personnel stationed in environments where the need for heat resistance is critical. Ceramic plates are occasionally also made using silicon carbide. However, compared to alumina ceramic, these specially designed ceramic plates are typically more expensive.

One of the most popular materials for armor plates is steel. Steel is affordable, provides defense against various bullets and projectiles, and can take several blows. A steel armor plate may also be hidden under the user's clothing, making it perfect for a VIP (Very Important Person). However, compared to ceramic and polyethylene, steel is more challenging to employ. Additionally, steel produces many small, is susceptible to high-velocity threats, and ricochets. Body armor composed of ceramic is frequently substantially lighter than steel armor and just as effective. They are very encouraging for quicker reaction speeds and decreased weariness. However, there are still spalling, ricocheting, and cracking problems. Although new and cutting-edge armor plate materials are constantly being created, future innovations may not be readily available due to the escalating price of building new fibers.

Based on product type, the global market is bifurcated into soft armor, hard armor, and accessories.

The soft armor segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.0% during the forecast period. Due to its tendency to be lighter, military personnel mainly prefer soft armor. Additionally, soft armor provides excellent defense against combat dangers like ballistic projectiles and explosion fragments. Soft armor is a perfect option for professions where flexibility and easy movement are crucial because of its lighter weight. For instance, police officers and private security guards view soft armor as the best option. The demand for soft body armor is greatly fueled by the growing trend toward wearing lightweight body armor without sacrificing protection or flexibility.

Based on product style, the global market is bifurcated into covert and overt.

The overt segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period. Their high-performance ballistic resistance capability explains the high market share. As they are constructed using multiple Kevlar layers, overt body armor is worn on top of clothing and is more substantial than covert armor. Kevlar layers provide excellent defense against powerful gunfire and big spikes or blades.

The growth of the covert segment can be attributed to the rising demand for body armor that is both lightweight and offers exceptional ballistic protection. For instance, one of the lightest body armor protecting against AK-47 MSC rounds is EnGarde Dual Use, a covert ballistic vest offered by EnGarde Body Armor, a body armor manufacturing company based in the Netherlands. For a Very Important Person (VIP) or security personnel who do not want to be seen wearing body armor, covert body armor can be worn comfortably underneath regular clothing or a standard uniform.

Regional Analysis

By region, the global body armor market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.

North America Dominates the Global Market

Body Armor Market Regional Analysis

Regional Growth Insights Request Sample Pages

North America is the most significant shareholder in the global body armor market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. With 33.2% of the market share in 2020, the North American region dominated the global body armor market. It is anticipated that government military initiatives like the Extremity Protection program and Soldier Protection System-Torso, which equip the armed forces with full body armor, will spur growth in the local market. In terms of military spending, the United States is the most dominant. The development and use of body armor in the North American market have been further fueled by the large budget allocated to military applications and services.

Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period. The demand for body armor in this region is driven by the extensive modernization efforts of conventional systems and the rise in armed conflict and border disputes in the Asia Pacific region's emerging economies, such as China, India, and South Korea. For instance, various international and national ballistic standards created the bullet-resistant jacket (BRJ) in March 2020 by the Ordnance Factory Board (India). The carrier of these jackets has plate pockets that can be customized to protect panels of soft or hard armor.

In addition, the first Indian Standard (IS) on BRJ for paramilitary, defense, and police forces' protection from ammunition and small arms was published in January 2019. The norm might serve as a foundation for distributing the jackets in the South East Asian market. The requirement for personal protection for ground troops in the Asia-Pacific region, along with consistent government spending on acquiring competitive arms and personal protection gear, is anticipated to energize the prospects for market expansion in the region.

The Europe market is anticipated to grow significantly during the forecast period. The regional European market held more than 25% of the market. Ballistic protection is only permitted for primary military use in the European Union, and it is illegal for civilians to buy or own it. In addition, a division of Rostec called Holding Technodinamika declared that it would soon start producing armor plates constructed of corundum ceramics, which tested better than armored steel in terms of protection.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia spent USD 61.9 billion on military applications and services and held 5th place in military expenditure worldwide. It had the highest spending as a share of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is 8%. Thus, the growth of body armor plates in the Middle East region is expected to grow significantly.

Competitive Landscape

The global body armor market’s major key players are

  • Aegis Engineering Ltd
  • Armored Republic, LLC
  • Bae Systems
  • Ballistic Body Armour Pty
  • Ceradyne Inc. (Subsidiary Of 3m)
  • Craig International Ballistics Pty Ltd
  • Hellweg International
  • Keijo Limited Company Pacific Safety Products
  • Point Blank Enterprises, Inc
  • Safariland, LLC

Recent Developments

  • October 2022- CROSHIELD, a Croatian body armor manufacturer, supplied body armor to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.
  • August 2021- KIHOMAC Armor Systems announced the release of their new Ceridium Body Armor Plates.

Global Body Armor Market: Segmentation

By Level

  • Level I
  • Level IIA
  • Level II
  • Level IIIA
  • Level III
  • Level IV

By Applications

  • Defense
  • Law Enforcement Protection
  • Civilians

By Material

  • Steel
  • UHMWPE
  • Aramid
  • Composite Ceramics

By Product Type

  • Soft Armor
  • Hard Armor
  • Accessories

By Product Style

  • Covert
  • Overt

By Regions

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • South America
  • The Middle East and Africa
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