Global body armour market growing


The global body armour and personal protection market remains robust in spite of the global economic downturn and is expected to grow at a rate of 4.5% over the next decade.

According to a new report entitled The Global Body Armour and Personal Protection Market 2013-2023, the market is expected to reach a value of $3.7 billion as demand continues from both military and civilian spheres.

The United States dominates the market for body armour, in spite of significant budget cuts that will curb total defence spending, the report said. It does not expect US body armour and personal protection procurement programmes to be affected, with the US Department of Defence outlining its intentions, in January 2012, to prepare for a smaller, but better equipped and optimally trained infantry force.
“This statement of intent has been in part realized through the 2013 US Army Modernization Strategy (AMS), which places significant emphasis on improving personal protection for ground troops, with upgrades to body armour and protective headgear being a primary objective. Other initiatives, such as the development and deployment of gender-specific armour, the procurement of night-vision goggles, and the development of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) programme are all expected to drive the body armour and personal protection market in North America,” the report said.

As a result, the authors of the report (Strategic Defence Intelligence) forecast North America to be the leading spender in the body armour and personal protection sector, accounting for 40.9% of the global market over the next ten years.

In Europe, growth in the market is expected. Although recent years have burdened Europe with financial crisis, which has precipitated a conservative approach to defence procurement in the region, the ongoing operations in Afghanistan coupled with soldier modernization programmes are expected to drive market growth in body armour and personal protection over the coming decade, the report stated.
“Major programmes, such as the UK’s Future Infantry Soldier Technology (FIST) programme and Germany’s Future Soldier System (Infanterist der Zukunft) are driving the market, along with the rapid increase in the interest of having a fully modernized force, which has stimulated intense competition across Europe in body armours, protective helmets, and combat clothing.”
“Despite this positive outlook for the body armour and personal protection market in Europe and the US, it should be noted that the broader austerity measures that have resulted from the financial crisis, combined with the substantial increases in the cost of developing technologically superior weapons platforms, have compelled consolidation and co-operation in the West.
“This has led to in-country and cross-border consolidation, and an increase in joint development and procurement programmes, which are expected to continue over the next ten years. Examples of such agreements include NP Aerospace Jordan’s contract with Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence, licensing them to produce helmets and body armour for 10 years, and Intelleflex Corporation’s partnership with Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to develop a Versatile Advanced Monitoring System (VAMS) for Perimeter Security,” the report stated.

Last year the global military body armour and personal protective gear market was estimated to be worth $1.07 billion, according to a Visiongain report, which noted that body armour forms a central component of any military personnel’s equipment and troop safety remains one of the highest priorities for armed forces around the world.

In 2011 Visiongain predicted that worldwide government spending on military body armour and personal protective gear would reach $1.19 billion.