Increased threats from regional conflicts, asymmetric warfare, terrorism, and riots are increasing the need for various protective clothing and also safe vehicles for safeguarding armed forces, especially in disputed regions across the world. Hence, military superpowers are focusing on technological advancement and thereby expanding ballistic products by increasing the defense budgets and investing in producing various ballistic composites. Therefore, the global Ballistic Composites Market size is expected to grow from USD 2.0 billion in 2022 to USD 3.1 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period.
The ballistic composites market is an emerging market with large opportunities in the military & defense industry. The utilization of ballistic composites in vehicle armor, body armor, helmet & face protection, and other applications. The vehicle armor product type leads the ballistic composites market. Ballistic composites are significantly utilized for manufacturing vehicle armors as these composites provide a high level of protection against ballistic threats. Moreover, the use of ballistic composites in manufacturing vehicle armor provides them with lightweight and corrosion resistance properties, which helps in easy manoeuvrability and ease of maintenance of vehicle armors.
Polymer-ceramic ballistic composites constitute four main components: spall foil, ceramic, composite structure, and adhesive. In a polymer-ceramic matrix ballistic composite, the ceramic (silicon-carbide/alumina) is normally placed on the strike face, generally, perpendicular to the expected direction of impact. Polymer fibers, such as polyaramide, polyethylene, or polypropylene, form the composite backing. The hardening and structural improvement of the individual polymer layers is achieved by impregnation and subsequent curing of the adhesive. The chemical bond between the ceramic and composite substrate and/or between the individual polymer layers is very crucial for the performance of the entire system. Also, spall protection (glass fibre laminates) is applied on the front side of the ceramic.
UHMWPE fibres are significantly growing and have captured the global ballistic composites market. These fibres are at par with the aramid fibres into ballistic protection. They are considered as the strongest fibres along with extensively used in ballistic items such as helmets, vests, plates mainly for personal protection.
Airborne consists of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). There is an increasing demand for aircraft across various aviation platforms for military purposes. This demand is also attributed to the rising military expenditure of various countries, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and the US. The UAVs segment is expected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of the airborne segment is mainly attributed to the introduction of UAVs on the battlefield due to changes in the dynamics of war.
In the field, homeland security officers wear ballistic-resistant body armor to protect against specific ballistic threats. Homeland security officers use personal protective equipment, including body vests, ballistic helmets, and gloves, to ensure safety during missions. Ballistic helmets protect the wearer against small arms fire and fragmentation threats.
APAC is expected to be the largest market for ballistic composites during the forecasted years. As a result of high regional tension and disputes over territories, there is an increase in military spending within this region. Also, the region has been identified as a major export market for armors. The respective governments of various countries in this region are signing contracts with western countries for technology transfer and collaboration in the defense sector, which is expected to drive the ballistic composites market in the region.