Body armour market worth $2.9 billion by 2026

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The global body armour and personal protection market, valued at $1.9 billion in 2016, is projected to reach a value of $2.9 billion by 2026, according to a new report.

This represents a compound annual growth rate of 4.61% over 2016-2026. The market consists of five categories: soft armour, hard armour, protective headgear, protective clothing, and boots. The market is expected to be dominated by the Soft Armour segment, which is expected to account for 36.9% of the market. Spending in this segment will be largely driven by procurement programmes in the European region, followed by investments in Asia Pacific, North America, and the Middle East. Innovations in developing integrated under suit systems, soft ballistic protection plates, and exoskeletons will drive demand for soft armour and provide better flexibility and speed suited for a wide range of missions.

Hard armour and protective headgear will have market shares of 22.7% and 18.6%, respectively.

The North American region is forecast to dominate the sector with a share of 24.3%, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific with shares of 23.2% and 22.9%, respectively.

The demand for body armours and personal protection equipment is expected to be driven by modernization initiatives undertaken by various large defence spenders across the world and internal security threats, such as terrorism and organized crime, police modernization programmes. Countries are focusing on manufacturing better solutions such as ballistic inserts, lightweight under suits, advanced night vision equipment, and combat helmets that provide benefits of comfort, lighter weight, and enhanced protection to the ground forces.

Market drivers include cross border disputes, more wars, an increase in terrorist activities, and modernization initiatives to drive the market as well as technological innovations and a shortage of body armour.

Trends include shifting focus towards lightweight body armour and personal protection equipment; joint programmes; liquid armour technology to provide better protection compared to conventional body armours; and increased spending on Homeland Security to enhance the capabilities of personnel and special agencies.

Challenges include reducing the weight of body armour and integrating soldier components, high unit costs of individual protective equipment and development of body armour for women.