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Smart Textiles for Military Market Size, Share, Key Players & Forecast 2021

The leading market players in the global smart textiles for military market primarily include BAE Systems, Mide Technology, Ohmatex, Royal Ten Cate, W. L. Gore & Associates, Advanced Fabric Technology, BeBop Sensors, Directa Plus, Intelligent Textiles, and Outlast Technologies.

Smart Textiles for Military Market – Market Overview

Smart textiles result from the integration of textile and electronic component to provide enhanced functionality in the product.  Smart textiles can also possess the capability for monitoring, protection, and technological applications. Smart fabrics based on nanotechnology have become the building block of more sophisticated and advanced smart textiles for various military applications including military clothing, tents and textile for military shelter.

The governments around the world are investing and researching in the use of nanotechnology for materials and systems in military use including the smart textiles for military clothing, protective shelters, and tents. Along with the advent of technology and changing nature of warfare, the equipment and clothing used by the soldiers have also evolved.

Smart textiles enable various high-tech functionalities to be integrated into the military textiles. The applications ranging from camouflage in military clothing, ballistic protection capability, technologically enhanced and lightweight clothing for enhanced performance and mobility, high-tech protective shelter and tents and many other.

Also, integration of smart textile and respective technology in military clothing enables the control center to monitor the location, physiological changes or other vital information of the soldier on the ground. The clothing can also be made to be waterproof and germ-proof as desired. Thus, all these have led to the growth of the market for military applications, mainly the key countries being the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and some European countries.

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Smart Textiles for Military Market – Competitive Analysis

The market is highly competitive. Vendors compete in terms of enhanced functionality of the smart textiles, cost effective solutions, product quality, reliability, and market share. To survive and succeed in such an environment, it is crucial for vendors to provide cost-effective and high-quality products and services.

Military clothing is one of the integral parts of a soldier’s combat mission and plays a significant role in protecting a soldier during combat, and thus must perform under rugged and demanding conditions. The military clothing has evolved with time adding several enhances to the functionality. There have been drastic changes in the way the war is fought. The appearance and performance of modern day military clothing have also changed drastically in comparison to those used during the First World War. Since the 9/11 attack, the demand for military clothing, body armor, and military equipment has also risen sharply.

Governments around the world have given high emphasis on equipping their soldiers with the latest facilities and equipment including the sophisticated military clothing. This demand has thus helped the growth of the global smart textiles for military market. Smart textiles using latest technologies have enhanced the performance and characteristics of military clothing, by improving characteristics such as optimizing camouflage, integrating technology into the clothing, reducing the weight carried and improved ballistic protection. It has thus helped to improve soldier’s performance during combat.

Industry/ Innovation/ Related News:

October, 2017:- Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) signed a contract with the China Airlines to carry out line maintenance on its aircraft.

June, 2013 –   Burlington Industries LLC, a division of International Textile Group (ITG), signed two contracts worth USD 160 million by the Defense Logistics Agency (DGA), to provide fabrics for use in the newly updated military uniforms of the US Army.

Smart Textiles for Military Market – Segments

For the convenience of the report and enhanced understanding; the smart textiles for military market is segmented in to two key dynamics:

Segmentation by End Use: Energy Harvest, Radar, Protection & Mobility, Healing, Sensing, and Thermal Luminescence.

Segmentation by Regions: Comprises Geographical regions –Americas, Europe, APAC and Middle East and Africa.

Smart Textiles for Military Market – Regional Analysis

Asia, mainly the emerging countries such as China and India have provided a major growth in the military segment in the APAC region. The growth of military expenditure in the APAC region is among the highest in the world. Along with the need to equip the military troops for modern warfare, there have been substantial expenditure for new military equipment and also enhanced military clothing. 

Since, the manufacturing of traditional textiles has majorly shifted towards countries with cheap labor, the industrialized and development countries in the US and Europe geared up to capture new market opportunity in the field of high-end smart textile. Smart textiles had provided the advanced countries to utilize their skilled manpower, equipment, materials and processes to develop and maintain sustainable growth in the smart textile industry.

However, emerging countries in the APAC region such as China and India have also recently emerged as the major producer and consumer of technical textile. It provides these emerging countries with an attractive share of the growing smart textile market and not to lose the market on the technological front. Few of the other major markets for smart textiles in the APAC region are Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

On the other hand, the US, which is the leading market in the Americas, also has a substantially large defense market and military expenditure, which makes it a very attractive market for high-end military products such as the smart textiles for military applications. 

Although the US has ended its combat operation in Afghanistan, a smaller number of troops remain. Furthermore, the US has deployed thousands of its troops in various other conflict regions. Also, the US government is funding for new programs to fight against the ISIS. The US will remain the largest spender on military products in the next decade. Military expenditure will also be driven by new initiatives of the US Army to strengthen and regroup its military base in Europe. Thus, despite the defense budget cuts, the need for protective clothing and military expenditure to equip the troops with enhanced high-tech products is expected to provide a growth in the market. 

Canada is also expected to provide sufficient expenditure and funding for its military program (including clothing and textiles). It is thus expected that continued military spending along with growing research and development on military safety and protective products including the enhanced military clothing provides a healthy market growth for smart textiles in the Americas.


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