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New Safariland Name for BAE Systems Products Group

Signaling a transformation of the company, the BAE Systems Products Group has adopted the name Safariland. While the Safariland name has long been known among the law enforcement and security communities for its extensive line of duty gear, body armor and related products, the Safariland name will now serve as the moniker for the entire company and its wide range of products.

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of law enforcement products, the Safariland umbrella now includes brands such as American Body Armor® (ABA®), Second Chance®, PROTECH®, Defense Technology™, Bianchi®, Monadnock® and Hatch®, among others. By reorganizing itself and bringing these law enforcement brands together under the Safariland name, the company is better positioned to achieve its customer focused objective of manufacturing innovative products and solutions while continuously improving its service as a single source provider.

The unveiling of the Safariland name took place at the 2009 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Orlando, signaling what will be an ongoing refinement of the company’s new structure and operations.

The Safariland mission is summarized in the new company slogan, Together We Save Lives™. The company’s body armor has been credited with saving more than 1,850 lives, and its entire line of products enhances the overall safety of law enforcement officers.

The history of the company can be traced to 1969, with the founding of American Body Armor. Through growth and acquisition, the company gained influence in the law enforcement, military and security markets. It adopted the name Armor Holdings in 1996 to better reflect the growing range of its products. One of the companies acquired by Armor Holdings was Safariland, a well-established manufacturer of duty gear and body armor since 1964.

In 2007, after continued growth and several more acquisitions, Armor Holdings was itself acquired by BAE Systems, a global defense, security and aerospace company. BAE Systems grouped the law enforcement and security segments of Armor Holdings under its corporate umbrella as the BAE Systems Products Group.

BAE Systems Products Group was a collection of independently branded businesses operating as semi-autonomous units. Customers dealt with multiple sales representatives and received separate invoices, which sometimes hindered the delivery of service commonly made possible under a single company. After careful analysis, the Products Group was reorganized by integrating these businesses under a one company structure.

Now, with the respected Safariland name applied to the entire group of brands, the company is undergoing its complete restructuring to offer greater simplicity and efficiency to its customers. This includes a single website, new product literature and simpler invoicing. In addition, rather than dealing with different company sales representatives for body armor and equipment, Safariland customers will have a single, dedicated representative, well versed in all company products. The changes are based on extensive feedback from customers.

Safariland now focuses on serving those customers based on their specific needs, i.e., patrol / duty, tactical, security, forensics, corrections and shooting sports. Its products are grouped together by category, making it easier for end users and distribution partners to find what they need.

Safariland’s product categories include body armor: concealable, tactical and correctional armor, including protective inserts and carriers; duty gear: holsters, belts, restraints and accessories; less-lethal: aerosols, impact munitions, chemical munitions, gas masks, batons and launchers; personal protective gear: gloves, elbow and knee pads, riot-control suits, and gear bags; hard armor: ballistic shields and helmets, face shields, shin guards, rifle plates, and trauma inserts; armor systems: Blast and Ballistic Resistant Enclosures (BRE)®; armored fighting positions; guard towers; BlastShield™; and custom armor for sea, air and land vehicles; firearms accessories: cleaning-and-maintenance equipment, optics, shotgun stocks, scope mounts and scope rings; and investigation / examination: a wide range of crime-scene investigation products, such as narcotics-testing kits, fingerprinting systems, evidence-collection products, lab equipment, biohazard equipment and document-verification equipment.

Categorizing its products allows Safariland to offer mission-specific solutions that combine a variety of products to meet its customers’ specific needs. As an example, the body armor category will feature models that complement one another, rather than competing with one another, as in the past. This will help simplify choices for the company’s forthcoming lines of body armor that meet new National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0101.06 compliance standards.

Safariland officials also emphasize that the new name and the transformation includes restructuring the company’s operations and changing its culture to stress improved service and make Safariland easier to do business with. In the past, the company operated, in effect, as 19 separate companies. The restructuring involves extensive efforts to bring the companies together as a single unit, with the added efficiencies that this type of structure offers.

With each product, Safariland puts the emphasis on protecting the lives of those who use them. Just as a ballistic vest can save a life, so can a duty holster or a clean, properly working weapon, a tactical helmet or a distraction device.

Examples of the company’s expanded customer focus can be found at the Safariland website. A blog addresses topics of concern to law enforcement officers, such as concealed weapons tips, in an effort to help law enforcement officers accomplish their jobs more safely, efficiently and effectively.

Another section offers expert advice on law enforcement subjects. Early post topics include, “The Two Key Accessories You Need For the Patrol Carbine,” “What You Need to Know About Mobile BREs” and “How to Maintain Your Firearm in the Off-season.” Complete information on the company transformation, name change and product lines is available at

Published in Law and Order, Jun 2009

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