The global body armor plates market size was valued at USD 1.71 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 2.63 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period (2023-2030).
The body armor plates function as shields and provide a protection layer in safety suits. They are commonly made from a combination of ceramics and bullet-resistant fabrics or materials. Body armor plates are frequently utilized in bulletproof vests to contribute to protection against rifle and pistol shots. Due to the rise in territorial disputes worldwide, armor plate demand has increased dramatically in recent years. Additionally, the increased need for shields of protection among civilians has produced numerous possibilities for industrial expansion. The increase in burglaries, house invasions, and other related crimes can be linked to the rising demand for civilian use. Ballistic plates are available for civilians from CITIZEN ARMOR, a manufacturer of protective equipment in the United States.
|Market Size||USD 2.63 billion|
|Fastest Growing Market||Asia-Pacific|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
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 world of law enforcement, where criminals, felons, and other lawbreakers have the potential to fatally hurt corresponding officers, necessitating the purchase of personal protective suits and related gear. As a result, there is a growing demand for ballistic protective equipment and suits to defend military soldiers in many different locations of the world.
Additionally, modernization initiatives have opened several doors for sector players, resulting in contractual agreements with military organizations. For instance, the U.S. Armed Forces placed two delivery orders totaling USD 40 million with body armor maker KDH Defense Systems.
The body armor plate business is delicate and subject to several 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 and durability of body armor. The requirements for testing the intensity the body armor plates can resist against any threat must be met by vendors making and selling armor plates. In addition, the rules can determine the degree of attack an armor plate can sustain. Regulations being changed to guarantee excellent safety make it difficult for market vendors to compete.
The components used to create ballistic plates significantly impact the consumer's purchase of body armor. Various materials, including polyethylene, ceramic, steel, and aramid, are used to create these plates and can be used in multiple conditions thanks to their different properties. When it comes to performance demands, ceramics outperforms steel. Ceramics offer outstanding benefits in terms of weight and design adaptability. All of these benefits raise the significance of ceramics for armor. Para-aramid backing, like the fiber sold under the Kevlar brand and manufactured by DuPont, is frequently utilized with ceramic plates.
The most recent advancements in ceramic armors demonstrate ceramics' suitability for lightweight items. Israeli protective solution supplier Kata Vitec creates and provides assault vests with cutting-edge glass-ceramics inserts to allow unfettered wearer movement. The vests are extremely light and inexpensive. The Dragonskin body armor from Pinnacle Armor is another illustration, and the armor uses flexible layers resembling fish scales from bulletproof ceramic leaves. As a result, ceramic armor producers should benefit from the demand for lightweight, cozy, and increased protection armor materials.
The global body armor plates market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America is the most significant shareholder in the global body armor plates market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. Regional market expansion is anticipated to be sparked by military programs supported by the North American government, such as the Extremity Protection program and Soldier Protection System-Torso, which provide the armed services with full body armor. The substantial budget earmarked for military applications and services has further encouraged the development and implementation of body armor plates in the North American market. For instance, right-wing demonstrations and counterdemonstrations were sporadic in Oregon, USA. Numerous people, many of whom were wearing military body armor, backed President Donald Trump's law and order reelection campaign. Such occurrences and situations assist the civilian application segment of the regional market. Additionally, Multi-County Crime Stopper Organization, a nonprofit American organization, donated USD 8,000 worth of level 4A rifle plates to the Liberty County Sheriff's Office (LCSO). These plates will be installed on the 12 deputy LCSO SRT (Special Response Team) Units.
Asia Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. The need for body armor plates in this region is driven by the extensive modernization efforts of conventional systems and the rise in armed conflict and border conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region's growing economies, such as China, India, and South Korea. For instance, the bullet-resistant jacket (BRJ) was created by the Ordnance Factory Board (India) by several national and international ballistic requirements. The carrier of these jackets has plate pockets that can be customized to protect panels of soft or hard armor. The paramilitary, defense, and police forces were provided with the first Indian Standard (IS) on BRJ for protection from ammunition and small guns. The norm can serve as a foundation for distributing the jackets in the South East Asian market. The requirement for personal protection for ground soldiers in the Asia-Pacific region, together with consistent government spending on obtaining competitive armaments and personal protection gear, is anticipated to supercharge 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. However, 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.
The global body armor plates market is segmented by level, application, and material.
Based on level, the global body armor plates market is bifurcated into level IIA, level II, level IIIA, level III, and level IV.
The level III segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. The detailed upgrades to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) requirements to identify a particular armor model with good performance are responsible for this high share. For instance, the Greek company Elmon created a wide selection of protection vests that meet NIJ standards and may be customized to meet different operational needs, dependent on the mission. In addition, Glagio Do Brasil (GDB) also created a spiked vest using Dupont Kevlar technology that shields wearers from both stab and spike attacks and gunfire.
The body armor plates have a 1.16 lbs areal density per square foot and are manufactured of Aramid to achieve NIJ Type II spike and ballistic protection. Furthermore, there is a greater need for expanded manufacturing capacities due to the increased demand for body armor and the stress it places on the material supply chain network. Additionally, companies are spending millions on research and development to produce body armor plates at different levels. In addition, businesses are choosing to broaden their product line by entering into partnerships and acquisitions. For instance, Aegis Engineering Limited ("Aegis"), LBA International Limited ("LBA"), and Pacific Safety Products Inc. ("PSP"), well-known producers and designers of high-performance protective clothing for defense and law enforcement, were fully acquired by The Safariland Group.
Based on application, the global body armor plates 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 4.9% during the forecast period. This high percentage is ascribed to the development of combat hazards like bone-crushing batons or shrapnel in improvised explosive devices, prompting the introduction of cutting-edge body armor and new tactical ballistic vest protection. Furthermore, well-known businesses follow the same pattern by supplying body armor plates made of advanced materials that have undergone special processing to the nation's military force. For instance, the 3M business provided the American Armed Forces with over 100,000 improved combat helmets and 2 million body armor implants.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reports that police enforcement personnel have to deal with various threats, with firearms being one of the deadliest. Over 3000 police officers have been saved by ballistic-resistant soft body armor during the past few decades. A chest rig, weapons, handcuffs, a communication system, personal protective equipment, and other external loads must be fetched while doing several challenging occupation activities as a law enforcement officer. This might be attributable to the significant demand for lightweight body armor plates from law enforcement organizations, with strict quality control and quick turnaround.
Based on material, the global body armor plates market is bifurcated into steel, UHMWPE, aramid, composite ceramic, and others.
The composite ceramic segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period. Composite ceramic material offers exceptional levels of protection compared to other materials, which is why it has gained a significant market share in the field of body armor plates. These composite ceramic body armor plates have a denser structure than other materials, are smaller in size, and are lighter than other materials. The corporations are also investing heavily to include the aforementioned features in their product line to increase the scope of their product portfolio. For example, Russian conglomerate Tekhnodinamika, a subsidiary of Rostec, announced the opening of a new production plant for a brand-new high-strength ceramic armor plate in September 2020.
Additionally, businesses are searching for a patent application for both the production process and the bullet-proof composite material. For instance, Kookyoung G&M successfully obtained a patent for a "Bullet-proof multilayered materials and production method." As demand for soft body armor plates increases globally, more money is being invested in various R&D projects to enhance the functional effectiveness of these plates.
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 creating new fibers.