The U.S. ballistic and ancillary protective gear market was $1.3 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2012. This figure is projected to reach $1.9 billion in 2017 yielding a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% between 2012 and 2017.
The protective head gear sector within the U.S. was $781 million in 2010 and is expected to reach $860 million in 2012. The projected estimate for 2017 is $1.1 billion given a CAGR of 4.8% between 2012 and 2017.
The ballistic body and vehicle armor and gear sector in the U.S. was $508 million in 2010 and is expected to reach $587 million in 2012. The sector should increase at a CAGR of 7.2% to reach $832 million in 2017.
U.S. VALUE ADVANCED PROTECTIVE GEAR AND ARMOR, 2007-2017
Source: BCC Research
The markets for protective ballistic gear and armor markets remain a fragmented industry. There are significant and specific segments of the protective gear and armor industry designed to perform specific tasks and are rated as to their effectiveness. Within each of those segments are a variety of players, including government organizations that create, develop and enforce regulations and standards, raw material suppliers, fiber and fabric manufacturers, mills and fabric producers, finished goods manufacturers, and suppliers and distributors. The supply chain is complex. The focus of this report is on the major equipment designers and suppliers of the products. To emphasize the complexity, it may be that one large corporation through many of its divisions and business units can be involved in all sectors of the supply chain.
What is termed “body armor or bulletproof armor” is better termed as individual ballistic protection. There are strict NIJ (National Institute of Justice) standards that body armor must meet for various levels of protection. Vehicular armor includes bullet and fragmentation-resistant vehicles, up-armored and purpose built vehicles that are used in both law enforcement and military applications. The retrofitting of the vehicles uses the same types of materials and some of the newer engineered in-place vehicle armor.
In this report, BCC Research identifies the top 10 companies in the ballistic and blast protection market. Factors taken into account included technical innovations, market leadership and commitment to this market via investment in products. In selecting these top 10 companies, BCC Research looked across the industry spectrum and selected the most active and significant contributors while recognizing that there are other contenders in this very complex and multifaceted market sector. Some of these “significant others” are included but to a less detailed extent than the top 10 companies that are the focus. The levels of ownership are more detailed for the “top 10.”
Although there are frequent mentions in military documents and in the popular press concerning nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC or NBCR) equipment, this is excluded from our discussion. There is no truly protective clothing for severe nuclear threats such as a battlefield nuclear explosion or a Chernobyl-level nuclear accident. When gamma rays are present in force and quantity, the effective absorbers might be lead or the misnomer “depleted” uranium. Respirators and clothing do help, but the best solution is situational awareness.
Anna Welch Crull, a chemist and experienced private consultant, is qualified in electrochemistry, polymers, membrane materials and advanced materials. Ms. Crull has worked with BCC Inc. (now BCC Research) for more than 30 years and has authored more than 114 technical/marketing reports, helped establish 10 technical newsletters, and assisted in numerous special consulting studies and conferences for more than 35 corporations and supplied business intelligence and research for U.S. government entities. She has worked for the U.S. Army Materials Command on rocket technology, propellants and explosives. Ms. Crull is a graduate of the School of Engineering, University of Mississippi and holds a master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Missouri.
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