Police forces and homeland security officials also need significant ballistic protection, since criminals and terrorists now commonly use advanced firearms. The increasing availability of advanced firearms is thus the major factor propelling the global ballistic protection market.
Weight and Wearing Comfort Emerge as Major Research Avenues
Several important innovations in ballistic protection equipment in the last few decades have been centered on the wearability of the ballistic protection equipment and the effect had by its weight on the wearer. Ballistic protection needs to be tough enough to endure firearms, which means it has to be made from heavy-duty materials. However, this can make ballistic protection equipment heavy and slow the wearer down, increasing their risk of getting shot at. As a result, development of lightweight protective materials is firmly established as the dominant research avenue in the ballistic protection industry.
Extensive research into developing lightweight materials, which resulted in the conception of Kevlar, for instance, has also reduced the prices of ballistic protection equipment. This has made it much easier for countries across the world to purchase ballistic protection equipment in bulk.
Several governments across the world have now made it mandatory to wear ballistic protection equipment for a variety of first-response units. This has boosted the demand from the global market for ballistic protection. Paramedic units and firefighting teams are just two of the many groups now given ballistic protection. Surplus defense vehicles are also increasingly being used by homeland security teams in countries such as the U.S., which has also driven the demand from the global ballistic protection market.