Armor is a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or vehicle by direct contact weapons or projectiles, usually during combat, or from damage caused by a potentially dangerous environment or activity (e.g., construction sites, cycling, etc.). Personal armor is used to protect war animals and soldiers. Vehicle armor is used on armored fighting vehicles and warships. Rising security concerns in developing countries are driving the armor materials market. However, some government regulations may hamper market growth.
Modern-day warfare practices include counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism, and guerrilla warfare operations that may injure soldiers, causing fatal injuries. Similar scenarios exist in the law enforcement field wherein criminals, felons, and law offenders can fatally injure corresponding officers, thus necessitating investment in personal body armor and related equipment.
Body armor is specifically developed to shield the wearer from the effect of firearm rounds on human organs. Body armor saves a number of lives. It also provides additional protection during car accidents and other assaults on police officers. The majority of the law-enforcement body armor and helmets are designed to defeat attacks from handgun firing.
Armor material plays a significant role in the protection of an individual since it absorbs the impact of physical attack. The wearing of body armour provide troops an unparalleled advantage on the battlefield, improving survivability and reducing casualities. It has also been very effective in reducing injuries and fatalities within the police force and correctional services.
The material that is used for the manufacturing of various armors including vest, helmet, vehicle, and others are heat resistance, lightweight, and flexibility. Furthermore, armors are used in various applications such as aerospace armor, body armor, vehicle armor, marine armor and many more. The government investment for improving defense and security with the help of advance technology owing to the growing incidences of terrorism across the globe is driving the adoption of more advanced materials in the manufacturing of armor.
Global Armor Materials Market to Reach $16.1 Billion by 2030
The global market for Armor Materials estimated at US$11.1 Billion in the year 2022, is projected to reach a revised size of US$16.1 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.7% over the analysis period 2022-2030.
Metals & Alloys, one of the segments analyzed in the report, is projected to record a 4.7% CAGR and reach US$6 Billion by the end of the analysis period. Taking into account the ongoing post pandemic recovery, growth in the Composites segment is readjusted to a revised 5.1% CAGR for the next 8-year period.
Increasing geopolitical tension is emerging economies, and massive spending on defense owing to internal conflicts & tensions in developing countries, such as Brazil, India, and Russia are expected to drive the ballistic protection industry growth.
Growing political insurgencies, the incidence of terrorism across the globe, and domestic conflicts compel governments to develop effective military solutions, leading to the necessity of high-quality armor materials. The widespread use of lightweight aluminum alloys in military vehicles is one of the market drivers for growth. They are also used in air transportation of equipment for military vehicles due to their high-performance quality. Their ability to prevent corrosion and low cost make the aluminum alloys a perfect replacement for titanium alloys. The serious concern over safety issues led the emerging economies to invest heavily in body armor for police and military personnel to add to the growth of the market.
The coming of state-of-the-art armor materials made of steel alloys which are tougher than ceramics, will create new market opportunities in the forecast period. The key market players concentrate on product launching, acquisitions, and collaborations to withstand the market pressure.
Researchers are engaged in development on better materials that could dramatically decrease weight while maintaining or increasing the level of protection as well as improve levels of comfort and fit. Because reduced weight would lighten the soldier’s load and increase performance, soldier survivability as a whole could improve significantly. Cost reduction is also a commercial driver, especially when standard body armour systems can be priced as high as several thousand dollars per set. Each of these challenging requirements are being met through development of new materials, innovative designs and lighter weight systems.
Meanwhile, soft body armor is forecasted to increase in sales, as the technology is highly preferred in the private sector among security companies and police departments. The push for more advanced lightweight body armor by these customers will help propel the expansion of the market, the report said. “Technological innovations and modernization initiatives [will] prompt security agencies and military forces to opt for the latest equipment,” the study said.
Some of the prominent trends that the market is witnessing include development of advanced weapons and ammunition, rising security concerns in the emerging economies, soaring demand for lightweight protection solutions and growth opportunities/investment opportunities.
The rising security concerns in emerging economies and the growing investment in the security system and defense is likely to boost the demand for the body armor. Furthermore, the growing demand for the vehicle, aircraft, and marine protection coupled with the rise in the spending on improving vehicle performance and aircraft security is a major factor that is fueling the growth of the market over the forecast period.
Moreover, the increasing threats of terrorist attacks owing to the rising political instability are escalating the need for an effective solution for improved security systems. This, in turn, is anticipated to propel the growth of the market over the forecast period.
Protection Level Insights
Level III protection accounted for 25.0% of the global revenue share in 2021.Level III vests are lighter, more flexible, and concealable under clothing, they can defeat a wider range of ammunition. They also provide greater blunt force protection than IIA. The level III product is suitable for council employees, officers, and even civilians and is the widely used protection armor.
The Level II segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.0% over the forecast period. Level II protection armor protects a common handgun round and is lightweight, concealable, and comfortable to wear. Compared to level IIA, level II provides greater protection against blunt force trauma.
Level IIIA is a soft armor category. The materials utilized to make the Level IIIA and Level III choices are not the same. The Level IIIA product can also be used in conjunction with other protective panels, by giving maximum protection. This type of body armor can be worn overtly as well as covertly. Some manufacturers also offer IIIA+ products to protect against shotgun shells such as 9 mm civil defense rounds.
The level IV product offers protection from AP bullets of 30 calibers. This armor is made for use in military contexts and offers the maximum level of protection. In comparison to Level III & III+ product that is offered on the market, this gear is also pricey and bulky.
Manufacturing activities have been halted due to lockdown imposed in many countries. However, as lockdown restrictions eased off, manufacturers have started their plants with limited workforce. The disrupted supply chain due to lockdown hindered the supply of raw materials. Moreover, the ban on import-export activities restricted movement of goods from other countries.
However, the high production cost is a major factor that is likely to hinder the growth of the market. The high cost associated and limited application scope of multi-layered composite materials hinder the market growth. On the other hand, advancements in armor materials plates create new opportunities in the coming years.
The homeland security segment is projected to grow at a higher rate than the military segment during the forecast period. Ballistic-resistant body armor is worn by homeland security officers while in the field to protect against specific ballistic threats. Homeland security officers use personal protective equipment, including body vests, ballistic helmets, and gloves, to ensure safety during any mission. Ballistic helmets are intended to protect the wearer against small arms fire and fragmentation threats. The combat systems used by homeland security officers are ballistic resistant as ceramics and thermoplastics reinforce them.
The application segment includes vehicle armor, aerospace armor, body armor, civil armor and marine armor. Body armor consists of various sections. In the lowest point, a jacket may have two panels that are worn over the front and back of the jacket itself. Such panels are what shield the wearer, the jacket is literally, a regular jacket without them added.
The defense segment led the market and accounted for 58.9% of the global revenue share in 2021. This can be attributed to the progression of battlefield threats such as bone-breaking batons or shrapnel in improvised explosive devices; this has led to the adoption of new tactical ballistic vest protection and pioneering body armor.
By application, the vehicles segment held the largest share in 2019, contributing to around two-fifths of the global armor material market, owing to growing application of lightweight aluminum alloys in military vehicles such as personnel carriers.
By platform, the airborne segment is projected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period. It includes fixed-wing aircraft & helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). There is an increasing demand for aircraft across various aviation platforms for military purposes. This demand is attributed to the rising military expenditure of multiple countries, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and the US. The UAV segment is expected to witness the highest CAGR for the forecast period, 2020-2025. The growth of the airborne segment is attributed mainly because of the changes in the dynamics of war, leading to the introduction of UAVs on the battlefield.
The global body armor market size was valued at USD 2.3 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% from 2022 to 2030. The body armor segment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR because of the increasing security concerns in the emerging economies and to provide protection to law enforcement and military personnel. The rapid development of weapons and ammunition is also a driving factor boosting the growth of the body armor segment along with an increase in application for Kevlar fabrics and Dyneema fabrics in armor vests.
Strength to weight ratio of armor materials plays vital role in the manufacturing of end products. With several stages of development in the armor material since inception the market is further projected to witness huge opportunity over the forecast period. The market is projected to reach more than USD 16 billion by the end of 2028.
In terms of material type, the global armor material market is segmented into metals & alloys, ceramics & composites, para-aramid fiber, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, fiberglass and others. Metals & alloys holds the lion share followed by ceramics and composites. The metal & alloys segment emerged as the leader in the global armor materials market with a revenue of USD 3.22 billion in 2019. This was because metals such as high-density steel, titanium and aluminum, along with their alloys, are used as armor materials for the aerospace, vehicle and marine armor systems.
By material type, the composites segment to register the highest CAGR 6.7% during the forecast period, owing to growing preference of composite materials in mobile military equipment, such as tanks and large ships.
Ceramic Armor Market size is expected to grow from USD 2.3 billion in 2022 to USD 3.5 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period, as per the recent published report by MarketsandMarkets™. The high growth of the ceramic armor market can be attributed to its substantial demand from the body and vehicle armor applications. Increasing threats from asymmetric warfare, regional conflicts, riots, and terrorism are creating the demand for protective clothing and safe vehicles for safeguarding armed forces, especially in disputed regions across the globe.
Silicon carbide is one of the key ceramic materials for producing ceramic armor. Silicon carbide is extensively used in armor for protection against larger projectiles. The high demand for body armor that provides higher defense and lower weight has increased the market for silicon carbide market globally. Silicon carbide ceramic material is the most preferred material for defending rifle bullets because of its high strength and hardness. The material is less expensive and offers higher mechanical properties.
Geography wise, the global armor materials market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. The global application of armor material varies from region to region owing to demand, supply, presence of manufacturers, and application.
The U.S. Market is Estimated at $3 Billion, While China is Forecast to Grow at 7.9% CAGR
The Armor Materials market in the U.S. is estimated at US$3 Billion in the year 2022. China, the world’s second largest economy, is forecast to reach a projected market size of US$3.4 Billion by the year 2030 trailing a CAGR of 7.9% over the analysis period 2022 to 2030.
Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 2.4% and 3.9% respectively over the 2022-2030 period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 3.1% CAGR. Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$2.2 Billion by the year 2030.
Asia Pacific accounted for 43.9% of the global revenue share in 2021, owing to increased military spending in the region. India, China, and Japan are among the prominent countries with large military troops credited for significant expenditure on military gear. Growing instances of warfare and border disputes coupled with an increase in the insurgency in the region are expected to propel the demand for body armor.
The U.S. accounted for a significant revenue share in 2021. The U.S has expanded its military spending to offset the aggressiveness of its strategic competitors, such as China and Russia. In addition, the United States has been aggressively supplying Ukraine with military help to combat Russia. This is also anticipated to increase demand for this product in the coming months.
By region, the market across North America held the largest share in 2019, accounting for more than half of the market, owing to the increasing demand for homeland security applications and development of advanced armor materials and systems for vehicles and aerospace.
North America dominated this market owing to early adoption of technology and strong military needs. However, with the passing time the market is projected to reach the stage of maturity providing other regions with growth opportunity. However, the global armor material market across Asia-Pacific is expected to manifest the highest CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period, due to increasing warfare activities.
Europe is expected to witness a CAGR of 6.7% over the forecast period. The increased spending is attributed to military upgradation in terms of personal safety and weapons upgrades. European nations such as France, Germany, and Italy contribute a part of their defense spending to NATO which is likely to boost the demand for this product over the forecast period.
The ballistic protection market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR from 2020 to 2025. Asia Pacific is an emerging market for ballistic protection systems, owing to the economic growth of countries in this region and increased defense spending in countries such as India, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. The governments of these countries and local industries are also signing up with the contractors and supporting them through the procurement process by providing necessary financial and infrastructure aids. The increase in the number of insurgent groups entering the territories and using deadly explosives such as IEDs and bombs has further raised the need for ballistic protection systems.
The existence of ISIS in the Middle East & Africa, the ongoing crisis in Yemen, and the emergence of far-right terrorism have presented a threat to regional security. Nigeria is seeing the creation of new fronts, the reactivation of dormant fronts, and the incapacity of its state security apparatus to combat the fast diversification of violence. This has led to increased military spending in the region, which has favorably impacted the growth of this industry.
Key Indutry Players
Key players include DuPont, DSM NV, Honeywell International Inc., Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA, Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, Ceradyne, Inc., Alcoa Corporation, Royal TenCate NV, Saab AB, CoorsTek Inc., Morgan Advanced Materials, CeramTec GmbH, Tata Steel Limited, AGY Holding Corp., PPG Industries Inc.
Safariland, LLC; Point Blank Enterprises, Inc.; Elmon SA; Ballistic Body Armor Pty; Pacific Safety Products Inc.; EnGarde Body Armor; Hellweg International Pty Ltd.; BAE Systems plc; Ceradyne Inc.; Avon Protection plc; Sarkar Tactical Ltd.; Craig International Ballistics Pty Ltd.; Armored Republic LLC
A few of the major players in the global ballistic protection market include BAE Systems (UK), 3M (US), Rheinmetall AG (Germany), Koninklijke Ten Cate bv (Netherlands), Point Blank Enterprises, Inc (US), Craig International Ballistics Pty Ltd. (Australia), MKU Limited (India), Elmon (Greece), FMS Enterprises Migun Ltd (Israel), Permali (UK), Revision Military (US), Saab AB(Sweden), and Survitec Group Limited(UK).
China National Bluestar (Group) Co. Ltd., Kermel, Guangdong Charming Co., Ltd., BASF SE, Suzhou Zhaoda Specially Fiber Technical Co., Ltd., JSC Kamenskvolokno, Tango Engineering Ltd., YF International BV, Lydall Performance Materials Inc., Polymer Technologies Pte. Ltd.
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