The Air Defence Officer who “Made” Super Fledermaus Radar

By Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema, Retd (2nd SSC)

Lt Col (R) rashid Zia CheemaEditor’s Note: Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema (Retd), the Editor of this website (Native Pakistan), is from Air Def/Avn. After the retirement, he has settled in DHA Phase 2, Islamabad.

In 1984, I was attending Gunnery Staff Course at AA (now Air Def) School, Malir Cantt. I was given an IP (Instructional Practice) on Super Fledermaus, a Fire Control radar, which was in use by the Swiss Air Force and some other countries including Saudi Arabia. Unlike these days, no Internet facilities were available for research, so I went to the School Library for research and found very brief details in Jane’s Weapon, a journal which is considered as bible of strategic weapons systems—in development, in production and in service worldwide.

Super Fledermaus Radar

That scanty detail obtained from Jane’s Weapon was insufficient for an instructional period of 40 minutes. One of the fellow students, Maj GM Qureshi (1st SSC), had served in Saudi Arabia on secondment and his unit there had Oerlikon antiaircraft guns and Super Fledermaus radars. He gave me a two-page Brochure about the Super Fledermaus radar. I prepared my IP but the material was still inadequate for the complete period.

Another brilliant student, Capt Waseem Rashid Hashmi (53 PMA), when saw me in shemozzle, asked, “Sir, kaya masla hai?”

I told him about my dilemma. After listening to my problem, he said, “Let me ‘create’ some diagrams from the text of the Brochure for your IP. You will spend some time in explaining the diagrams and your problem will be solved.”

“Waseem, it will be very embarrassing, if the sponsoring IG (Instructor Gunnery) comes to know about your ‘creation'”, I said with concern.

Waseem gave a big laugh and said, “Sir jee, how will he know? He will have only the Jane’s Weapon at his disposal.”

So Waseem added some ‘details’/diagrams and the IP went through OK. No probing questions were asked by the IG as he too had very limited knowledge about the Super Fledermaus radar.

Fast forward to Sep 1991. I was promoted and posted to 133 Gun Missile Regt at Mangla as CO. Maj Waseem was already in the unit performing the duties of 2/IC.

After a week of my arrival, the unit received a letter from Bde HQ asking for comments on some topic. It was a routine letter sent to all units. As a matter of fact, there was no need for sending it to the under command units, the DQ could have written some brief comments himself and send to Corps HQ. I didn’t want the 2/IC to send it to the Batteries for their comments, I remarked on the letter:
“2/IC, make a Super Fledermaus and send it to Bde HQ today.”

Maj Waseem got the point and wrote some brief verbose comments and brought it to me for my signatures. We laughed over it and talked about the good old days and also about Waseem’s ‘genuine help’ which he extended back in 1984 for my IP on Super Fledermaus.

Lt Col Waseem Rashid HashmiI commanded the unit for almost 2 years and Maj Waseem ‘made’ so many more Super Fledermaus during that memorable period. In August 1993, Waseem was promoted and I handed over the command to him. I wonder whether Col Waseem’s 2/IC was capable of ‘making’ Super Fledermaus radars or not!! Let’s wait for Lt Col (R) Waseem Rashid’s comments in the comment box of this post.

Related Posts:
Humour in Uniform

Army Jokes (in Urdu/Punjabi)

Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. Maj (R) Munir Ahmed ( 2nd SSC ) says:

    Dear Rashid Cheema,
    Thank you for sharing an interesting experience. We all have undergone such funny experiences during our service & were never caught due to our confidence. Would love to read more such narrations.

  2. S. Akbar Shah says:

    Col Cheema,
    Thanks for sharing good old memories.

  3. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Munir, Arty (3rd Graduate Course) says:

    A good article to read. Thank you.

  4. Maj (R) Aziz ur Rehman (15th War Course) says:

    Col Wasim Hashmi is a versatile creative person who has a knack for finding out of box solutions.

  5. Brig (r) Ashraf Mahmood (37 PMA) says:

    Beside interesting reading, how ingenuity worked so well in the absence of Internet knowledge. Col Cheema, you are providing opportunity to enjoy comments from so many wonderful old friends and colleagues of yester years.
    Keep it up, Thank You

  6. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah, Arty says:

    Ingenuity at its best.

  7. Lt Col Masood Alam (R), Air Def says:

    Dear Cheema,
    Thanks for reminding me the good old days of Gunnery Staff course O/22.
    Col Wasim is a good jolly fellow. Apart from being a good student he was a good singer too. Remember he also sang in the farewell dinner?

  8. Salman Rashid (1st SSC) says:

    This is a good one. Do they still have men like this in Air Defense?

  9. Brig (R) Tariq Saeed, Arty says:

    Thank you for nice recollection of old memories, one really enjoys reading.

  10. Maj (R) Rehmat Elahi says:

    Nice attempt by the brother officer.
    Well done!! Just keep it up.

  11. As the son of the officer in question (Lt Col Waseem Hashmi), I really enjoyed reading this story. Thank you Uncle Cheema for sharing it. It showed me a side of professional life of officers such as you and my father that I have not thought about a lot. You gentlemen served the country well and I hope we the next generation do you proud.
    Proud son of a genuine officer,

  12. Col (R) Shah Alam, AC/Avn says:

    Nice one for a good chuckle, Rashid.

    The “Chhaapa” — the copy’n-paste of today — was the prevalent practice going around in my days but thanks for adding “Super Fledermaus” to my fading vocabulary. My exposure flying the VIPs while serving in Aviation reminds me that applying the “Super Fledermaus” philosophy was visible and worked even better at the higher levels of command.

  13. An excellent, well-written anecdote that synthesizes the multiple qualities of Pakistan Army officers with a smile.

  14. Col (R) Qaisar Rashid, Baluch says:

    This speaks of your confidence in your under comd and the ingenuity of your under comd. Both of you deserve an applause.

  15. Lt Col (R) Waseem Rashid Hashmi (53 PMA) says:

    Dear Col Cheema,
    Thank you so much for remembering the good old days. Nostalgia of Gunnery Staff Course O-22 still persists and I often get a ticklish feeling while recollecting the light moments of various military courses and unit life. I was lucky to be your 2/IC and really admire your good memory and record keeping. Once we were preparing for a TEWT in the unit, when you promised to give me a good sample of a TEWT the next day….. and the sample you gave me next day had actually been written by me a few years back :). I’ll wind up with a quote from your ‘original’ poetry on Course Farewell Dinner: “Wafadari basharte ustawari hai; Jiss ko chareet lagee woh car to humari hai”.

    • Lt Col (R) Rashid Zia Cheema says:

      Dear Col Waseem,
      You have not commented on the following query:- 🙁
      “I wonder whether Col Waseem’s 2/IC was capable of ‘making’ Super Fledermaus radars or not!!”

  16. Brig (R) Aslam Khan, 30 Cav (33 PMA) says:

    Ingenuity is the backbone of success.

  17. Brig (R) Noor ud Din Ahmed (6th Graduate Course) says:

    I was hoping that you would be caught one day but all is well that ends well. 🙂

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