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Bulletproof Vest Market Size, Share and Covid-19 Impact Analysis by Material (Kevlar, Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), and Graphene) By Type (Level IIA, Level II, Level IIIA, Level III, and Level IV) By Product (Flexible Ballistic, Hard Armor Plate) By End User (Military, Law Enforcement, and Civil) and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Last Updated: May 06, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104752



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The global bulletproof vest market size was USD 1,271.1 million in 2019 and is projected to grow from USD 1,225.8 million in 2020 to USD 3374.61 million by 2032 at a CAGR of 7.80% in the 2020-2032 period.


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The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with bulletproof vests witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our industry analysis, the market will exhibit a lower growth of (-3.3%) in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2016-2019.

Bullet-proof vests are specially designed to protect the wearer from the impact of firearm bullets on human organs. It prevents penetration of projectile bullets in the wearer’s body and reduces the impact of small fragments from explosives. It is manufactured by layering woven or laminated fibers, with polythene plates, ballistic plates of metal, or ceramic inserted.

Increasing defense expenditure will strengthen military forces, which, in turn, will aid market growth. Similarly, the rising security concerns will further drive the market. Rising terrorist activities, cross-border conflicts, and political unrest, especially in Asian countries, propels the market's growth. In July 2019, Ordnance Factory Board and MIDHANI in India launched a lightweight bulletproof jacket, Bhabha kavach. The jacket can stand 7.62mm hard steel bullets fired using an AK 47 assault rifle and 5.56mm ammunition.

Military & Defense Sector to Experience Harsh Challenges Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic affects the global economy by reducing the demand, supply chain disruption in the market, the financial impact on firms and financial markets. The defense industry has been impacted by covid-19. The reduction in demand and delayed deliveries of products has changed the dynamic of this industry.

Due to the lockdown, there was a massive impact on the defense sector, resulting in a slowdown in the production of defense products. The department of Indian Military Affairs asked all of its armed forces to hold their capital acquisitions because of budget cuts due to the effect of COVID-19. Due to COVID-19, South Korea planned to reduce USD 245 million from the country’s defense budget. Thus, declining defense expenditure and production halt due to lockdown created unprecedented challenges for the defense sector.


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Development of Flexible and Lightweight Bulletproof Vest is the Latest Trend in the Market

Nowadays, lightweight and flexible body armors have gained popularity due to their better comfort, reduced weight, and low cost. The rising demand for lightweight body armors from end-users such as military forces, law enforcement agencies, and civilians will stimulate the growth of the market. The heavyweight vests are difficult for military personnel, police officers, and others to wear and move freely on the battlefield.

Recently, PPSS Group launched ultra-light NIJ Level IIIA+ bulletproof vests. It is the thinnest, lightest, and soft vests that will improve police officers' safety, sky marshals, prison officers, executive security professionals, and others.


Procurement of Advanced Lightweight Body Armors for Improving Personal Safety to Propel Market Growth

Nowadays, countries worldwide are expanding their military forces due to cross border conflicts, political unrest, and other factors. Increasing defense expenditure and procurement of advanced vests for military personals, and law enforcement agencies drive the market's growth.

In February 2020, The Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) had decided to purchase 9,30,000 plates for universal vests and 467,000 plates for enhanced bulletproof vests at a USD worth 1,850 million. Furthermore, in November 2019, JGH Group has signed a contract with United Nations Provision Division (UNPD) to supply and deliver bulletproof vests, female vests, and ballistic plates.

Growing Defense Budget and Expansion of Military Forces Drives the Market Growth

The increasing incidence of terrorist activities, geopolitical tensions, and political unrest across the globe has led to most countries' increasing defense budgets. Growing military spending for R&D activities and rapid expansion of military forces, especially emerging economies, boost the market.

According to SIPRI, the United States, China, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia's defense budget was USD 732 billion, USD 261 billion, USD 71.1 billion, USD 65.1 billion, and USD 61.9 billion, respectively. Furthermore, in 2020, the number of active military personnel in China, India, the U.S., and North Korea are 21,83,000, 14,44,000, 14,00,000, and 12,80,000 respectively. Thus, growing military spending and an increasing number of army personnel drive the bulletproof vest market growth.


High Cost and Increasing Cases of Defective Vests to Restrict Growth

The high cost associated with bulletproof vests is hampering the demand in the global market. These vests' high price is due to high-quality lightweight materials and implementation of advanced technologies.

Furthermore, increasing cases of defective vests sold to end-users hampers market growth. In 2018, Toyobo, a Japanese company, and its U.S. subsidiary Toyobo U.S.A, Inc. paid USD 66 million to resolve claims as the company sold defective fiber used in bullet-proof vests. The contract was made between the U.S., federal, local, law enforcement agencies, and Toyobo.


By Material Analysis

Growing Demand for Graphene Used Vests Due to its High Strength and Durability Will Witness Highest Growth

Based on material, the market is segmented into Kevlar, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), and graphene. Among these, the Kevlar segment holds the highest share in the market. Kevlar is the most widely used material in manufacturing these vests due to its features such as lightweight, flexibility, and can protect against ballistic threats.

The graphene segment will showcase remarkable growth during the forecast period. The development is attributed to the high shear strength, increased durability, flexibility, and thinness compared to Kevlar. It has twice the stopping power as Kevlar. UHMWPE will witness significant growth due to high resistance to ballistic, pointed, and sharp-edged instruments.

By Type Analysis

Growing Demand for Lightweight, Comfortable, and Flexible Soft Vests boosts the Growth of the Level IIA Segment  

The market is classified into level IIA, level II, level IIIA, level III, and Level IV based on type. Level IIA, II, and IIIA are the soft body armors while leveling III, and IV include rigid armor plates. Level III held the highest market share in 2019. Increasing the procurement of rifles from military forces and growing expenditure on body armors for soldiers' security boosts the market's growth. These level III vests are designed to stop 6 spaced hits of 7.62*51mm NATO full metal jacket (FMJ) rounds. Level IIA segment is estimated to show significant growth during 2020-2027. The development is due to the increasing use of guns for commercial applications. It is designed to protect from 0.9mm FMJ and 0.40 S&W FMJ. It is the lightest, more comfortable, flexible, and easy to conceal, thus driving the growth of the market.

By Product Analysis

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Growing Demand for Flexible Ballistic for More Comfort Drive the Growth of the Market

By product, the market is classified into flexible ballistic and hard armor plates. The hard armor plates held the highest shares in the market in 2019. The hard armor plates’ growth is due to the increasing use of these plates to protect from threats above level IIIA. Hard armor plates can protect from AK-47 mild steel core bullets & SLR ammunition. The flexible ballistic vest segment shows remarkable growth due to the increasing demand for lightweight and highly flexible products as they provide more comfort and reliability.

By End User Analysis

Rising Defense Expenditure and Procurement of Next Generation Body Armors Drive the Growth of the Market

By end user, the market is segmented into military, law enforcement, and civilian segments. The military segment holds the highest shares in the market in 2019 and will witness the highest growth during the forecast period. The segment's growth is due to the increasing defense budget from developing countries and the expansion of military forces. In 2019, KDH Defense Systems signed a contract worth USD 40 million with the U.S. Army to supply a new modular, scalable vest (MSV) and new blast pelvic protector (BPP). The law enforcement segment would show significant growth due to increasing demand for these vests from law enforcement agencies to protect police officers, security professionals, prison officers, and others.


North America Bulletproof Vest Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)

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The market has been segmented into four major regions, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world. North America dominated the market and held the highest shares in 2019. This growth is attributed to the highest defense expenditure on the procurement of advanced body armors. In 2019, the U.S. solely spent USD 284.5 million on the army's procurement of body armors. Furthermore, key players in North America, including Honeywell International, Inc., DuPont, U.S. ARMOR CORPORATION, Point Blank Enterprises, Inc., and others, are projected to boost the bulletproof vest market.

Asia-Pacific will witness remarkable growth during the forecast period. The growth is due to the political conflicts over cross border issues, growing terrorism in the Asian countries, and increasing investments in next-generation body armors' procurement. In 2018, the Indian Army signed a worth of USD 98.31 million with SMPP Private Limited to procure 1,38,138 bulletproof jackets.

In Europe, key players such as EnGarde Body Armor, VestGuard UK Ltd., MARS Armor, and others will drive the market across the region. Increasing spending on procurement of body armors for military forces and law enforcement agencies is anticipated to boost the market growth. In 2018, Rheinmetall AG signed a three-year contract worth USD 11 million with the German police to supply ballistic inserts for protective vests.

The rest of the world is set to register significant growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the growing expenditure on the defense sector in the Middle East & African countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and South Africa. In 2019, Saudi Arabia’s defense budget was USD 61.9 billion.


Key players are Focusing on Business Expansion Through Merger & Acquisitions, and Contracts with Military Forces

Bulletproof vest manufacturers focus on developing next-generation lightweight, more comfortable, highly durable, and soft vests. OEMs also focus on business expansion through mergers & acquisitions and partnerships with military forces worldwide. In August 2019, Avon Rubber p.l.c acquired the advanced ballistic protection business of 3M at USD 91 million. In December 2019, KDH Defense Systems successfully merged into Armor Express.



  • In April 2021, Defence Research Development Organisation developed a new lightweight bullet-proof jacket (BPJ) that weighs 9-kg. It will provide 360-degree protection to soldiers from hard steel core bullets in combat and counter-insurgency operations.

  • In May 2021, The Indian Army is planning to procure 50,000 new bulletproof jackets (BPJs) for its frontline troops. The BPJs should protect a soldier against 7.62 mm armor piercing rifle ammunition and hard steel core bullets fired from a distance of 10 metre.

  • In January 2021, Madison County Judge Executive Reagan Taylor announced that the county will receive USD 14,980 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for bulletproof vests.


An Infographic Representation of Bulletproof Vest Market

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The market research report provides an in-depth technical analysis of the market and majorly focuses on key aspects such as leading market players, COVID-19 effect on the market, leading technological trends, and research ideology of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments & trends. In addition to the aforesaid factors, the report provides multiple factors that will contribute to the market's growth during the forecast period.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD million)


By Material

  • Kevlar

  • Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE)

  • Graphene

By Type

  • Level IIA

  • Level II

  • Level IIIA

  • Level III

  • Level IV

By Product

  • Flexible Ballistic

  • Hard Armor Plate

By End User

  • Military

  • Law Enforcement

  • Civil

By Geography

  • North America (By Material, Type, Product, End User, and Country)

    • The U.S.

    • Canada

  • Europe (By Material, Type, Product, End User, and Country)

    • The U.K.

    • Germany

    • France

    • Russia

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific (By Material, Type, Product, End User, and Country)

    • China

    • India

    • Japan

    • Australia

    • Rest of Asia Pacific

  • Rest of the World (By Material, Type, Product, End User, and Sub-Region)

    • The Middle East & Africa

    • Latin America

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1,271.1 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 1,998.1 million by 2027.

In 2019, the North American market size stood at USD 383.5 million.

Growing at a CAGR of 7.23%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2020-2027).

The flexible ballistic vests are expected to witness the highest CAGR in this market during the forecast period.

Advanced lightweight and soft bulletproof vests for improving personal safety are propelling the market's growth.

Honeywell International, Inc., Armor Express, MKU Limited, U.S. ARMOR CORPORATION, EnGarde Body Armor, MARS Armor, DuPont, Point Blank Enterprises, Inc., Safariland, LLC., and among others are major players in the global market.

North America dominated the market share in 2019.

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