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Armored defense: Russia retains positions on world heavy armor market

Russia’s main armor market programs are expected to focus on the production of T-72B3/T-90 main battle tanks, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers based on the BTR-80 APC

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. The current global economic downturn has also affected the world armaments market. The sector of the armor has sustained heavy losses among other sectors but has remained quite attractive for potential customers. Western experts say the armor market will remain quite stable in the coming decade.

In 2015-2024, the armor market is expected to reach its peak in the late 2010s, which will be followed by some decline as Western experts believe. Finally, the armor market will reach its volume in 2024 comparable to the period of 2015-2016.

Several programs are under way in the world today to make serial-produced armored vehicles.

The United States is developing quite successfully the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) program intended to create an increased force protection vehicle as replacement for the HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle). The US-based company Oshkosh is the program’s contractor and the L-ATV (Light, All-Terrain Vehicle) with increased mine blast protection has been chosen as the basic model.

France is implementing two programs to develop wheeled armored combat vehicles, specifically, the VBMR (Vehicule Blinde Multirole) and the EBRC (Engin Blinde de Reconnaissance et de Combat).

Russia is successfully continuing preparations for the serial production of the main battle tank (T-14) and the infantry fighting vehicle (T-15) based on the Armata combat platform, and is also organizing the assembly of the Kurganets-25 IFV.

Australia is successfully implementing the fourth stage of its program Land-121 to develop new armor.

According to data of experts at Jane’s information and analytical center, the world armor market will total $552 billion in 2015-2024 while the market’s average annual growth rates will reach 1.4%. These quite modest growth rates can be explained by defense cuts in some large countries and increased attention to aircraft and naval hardware and, as a result, their larger purchases.

Western experts specially note that despite economic difficulties, Russia has taken big efforts to modernize the armor and invested quite considerable funds in this defense sector in the past decade. As a result, principally new series of the armor are being successfully developed in Russia today.

The fight against the Islamic State terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) and the political crisis in Ukraine are prompting West European countries to increase the fleet of their armored vehicles while Latin American and Asian states are decommissioning the outdated armor and replacing it with more modern machines. Therefore, the world armor market can hardly be said to be contracting.

The world armor market can be conventionally divided into five groups in terms of its financial volume:

As Western experts believe, the top five armor suppliers will account for $184 billion in revenues while the share of other armor producers will make up $193 billion. Another $175 billion worth of potential contracts has not yet been distributed.

USA. General Dynamics

The US defense company General Dynamics will be the largest supplier on the world armor market during this period with its share of about $57 billion.

This is largely due to the probable signing of a contract with Saudi Arabia for the delivery of armored combat vehicles from the LAV (Light Armored Vehicle) family and some other military hardware worth about $13 billion.

The company will receive considerable profits from the fulfillment of its current program for the delivery of double-V-hulled Stryker armored combat vehicles for the US Army.

General Dynamics will remain the world’s largest supplier of main battle tanks (MBT) thanks to the program of producing and modernizing M1 Abrams MBT. The production of M1A1 main battle tanks in Egypt was suspended after the military came to power. However, already in October 2015, a contract was awarded for the restart of the MBT production.

General Dynamics will also receive considerable profits from the delivery of Piranha wheeled armored personnel carriers (APCs) and ASCOD armored fighting vehicles. The company has won a large contract worth $5.4 billion to produce Ajax (formerly Scout SV) armored fighting vehicles for the UK Army.

Under the FF 2025 (Future Force 2025) program, mechanized units of the British Army will be supplied with two types of armored fighting vehicles - Ajax and the promising MIV (Mechanized Infantry Vehicle), a tender for which has not yet been held. General Dynamics views positively its chances for winning the MIV tender.


China will capture the second place on the armor market in 2015-2024. The Chinese CA-1091 trucks, Type-97/98 main battle tanks and VN-1 infantry fighting vehicles will be China’s most expensive programs.

An overwhelming majority of China’s armor will be delivered to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army during this period.

At the same time, military hardware worth $1.5 billion will be delivered to foreign customers, which include Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and some Latin American states.


Russia’s share on the world armor market will total about $37.6 billion in 2015-2024. Its main programs are expected to focus on the production of T-72B3/T-90 main battle tanks, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers based on the BTR-80 APC. Considerable profits are expected from the delivery of Armata-based T-14 MBTs and T-15 IFVs, Kurganets-25 IFVs and APCs and 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled artillery systems.

UK. BAE Systems

The British defense company BAE Systems will be placed fourth, with its sales expected at about $25 billion.

During this period, BAE will focus on the M2 Bradley IFV upgrade, the Paladin PIM/M109A7 self-propelled artillery systems, BvS206 and BvS210 cross-country vehicles, CV90 IFVs and AMPV (Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle APCs.

USA. Oshkosh

The US company Oshkosh will capture the fifth place on the armor market in 2015-2024 with its sales of $17.8 billion. Western experts attribute this success to the company’s participation in the implementation of the JLTV program, as well as the delivery of trucks and various types of chassis for the US Army.