Mr. Irwin R. Barr was born in Newburgh, New York on May 16, 1920 and attended the Academy of Aeronautics in Newark, New Jersey between 1938 and 1940.
His contributions to the Ordnance field are so numerous that only the most significant can be listed. He was co-inventor of the Viking Rocket control system; designer of the heavy metal, long-rod penetrators; inventor of the puller sabot; originator of the design for the T-92 light tank, a new 152mm tank gun; the concept of the high survivability test vehicle-lightweight (HSTV-L); and the rapid deployment force light tank (RDF/LT).
As group engineer in charge of the Viking Rocket, he was the co-inventor of the gimbaled rocket engine and jet controls for roll, pitch, and yaw to provide stabilization for the payload above the atmosphere. By designing heavy metal long-rod penetrators, he was able to incorporate these into the 90mm cannon to increase armor-penetrating capacity 10 times over previous ammunitions.
His invention of the puller sabot allowed the projectile to be packaged in a cartridge case capable of fitting conventional weapons. These included fin-stabilized sabot ammunition, flechette rounds, and multiple salvo rounds. His concept of employing a rapid-fire weapon, using flechette rounds on a very small vehicle with low silhouette and high obliquity armor, provides a vehicle which can be transported by aircraft and is survivable on the battlefield. This is the basis of the HSTV-L, the RDF/LT, and the T-92 light tank.
Mr. Barr holds over 100 patents.