The chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRNE) market is expected to witness a moderate increase from 2021 to 2025, primarily due to the modernisation initiatives planned in North America and Europe and threats from terrorism and hostile neighbouring countries in the Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern regions.

Listed below are the key macroeconomic trends impacting the CBRNE Defence theme, as identified by GlobalData.

Common procurement and R&D cost-sharing

Sharing platforms and systems’ development costs are expected to expand as a trend, as new technologies require considerable investments. In addition, given the limited funding about the range of needs, initiating common procurement between countries can reduce the acquisition and lifecycle costs. For instance, The EU-RADION project is a joint operation by eight European institutions active in various fields, ranging from research facilities, through academic entities to governmental bodies.

The consortium members are focused on developing a novel system for CBRNE threat detection and elimination that is intended to significantly improve the capabilities and safety of first responders and emergency response teams. Another example, in 2019, PESCO launched CBRNE Surveillance as a Service (CBRNE SaaS) project to provide a rapidly deployable 24/7 chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRNE) surveillance capability.

CBRN SaaS involves four contributing Member States (cMS), Austria (lead), Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia. The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) choose the European Defence Agency (EDA) to take this project forward and support our Member States. The project entered in operational phase in January 2021 and is expected to be completed by spring 2023.

The rising threat of nuclear war

The tension between the US, Russia, and China continues to increase with the coming to power of the Biden administration. This tension also increases the risk of conflict in potential flashpoints such as the Crimea, South China Seas, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Korean Peninsula, Kashmir, and Galwan Valley. Therefore, instead of reducing their stocks of nuclear weapons, countries are trying to develop these possibilities. Unlike the US and Russia, China is not constrained by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) or by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, and has enhanced its nuclear capability. Therefore, if China attempts to take over Taiwan and then fails, it may threaten to use tactical nuclear weapons against the island.

In addition, Ukraine threatens to acquire nuclear weapons if North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) membership is not granted, North Korea continues to conduct nuclear weapons tests, and Iran is insidiously advancing towards becoming a nuclear power.

Growing personal protective equipment (PPE) demand

There has been an uptick in demand for body armour from police departments, special forces, law enforcement agencies, federal agencies, and firefighters. The capabilities of personnel and special agencies, which hold the responsibility of managing casualties in the midst of increasing civil unrest, terrorist attacks, internal violence, shoot outs, or other situations, must be enhanced.

The US and European countries are witnessing an increasing trend towards the provision of body armour and personal protection to first responders, such as emergency medical technician (EMT) personnel and firefighters. This trend is being stimulated by the growing need to enhance the capabilities of personnel who are responding to casualties in the aftermath of extremists attacks.

In addition, increasing CBRNE threats coupled with peacekeeping efforts of countries are further expected to drive the procurement of protective clothing products.

This is an edited extract from the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Defense – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.