Signals Technology Evaluation and Adaptation Group (STEAG)

In a significant step towards preparing for the future of warfare, the Indian Army has established the “Signals Technology Evaluation and Adaptation Group” (STEAG), a first-of-its-kind specialised technology unit. The primary objective of STEAG is to conduct research and evaluation of cutting-edge communication technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G and 6G networks, machine learning, and quantum technologies for defence applications.

Indian Armed Forces’ Modernisation:

The creation of STEAG aligns with the Indian armed forces’ realisation of the need to equip themselves with next-generation fighting capabilities. In 2023, the Army decided to operationalise command cyber operations and support wings (CCOSW) for cyberwarfare, demonstrating their commitment to staying ahead in the rapidly evolving technological landscape of modern warfare.

Corps of Signals and STEAG:

Although STEAG is currently in its early stages of development, it will operate under the Corps of Signals, a combat support arm responsible for handling military communications. The Indian Army recognises that communications play a crucial role in military operations, and the side with superior communication technologies and the ability to connect various constituents for information sharing will have a significant advantage over its adversary.

Seamless Communication Support:

The Indian Army emphasises the importance of inducting new equipment to provide seamless communication support to units and formations during operations. STEAG’s establishment is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at imbibing advancements in technology and bolstering the Army’s capabilities in the digital domain.

Focus Areas of STEAG:

STEAG will focus on nurturing and developing tailored technologies spanning the complete spectrum of wired and wireless systems. This includes electronic exchanges, mobile communications, Software Defined Radios (SDR), Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, 5G and 6G networks, Quantum Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. By leveraging these cutting-edge technologies, the Indian Army aims to enhance its communication capabilities and gain a strategic edge in modern warfare.

Premier Organisation for Defence Applications:

STEAG is envisioned as a premier organisation, the first of its kind, equipped with the capability to harness niche technology, leverage cutting-edge solutions, and identify suitable use-cases for defence applications. The unit will foster collaboration and partnership with academia and industry to achieve these goals.

Technical Scouting and Evaluation:

The hi-tech unit will carry out technical scouting, evaluation, development, and management of core ICT solutions. It will also provide user interface support by maintaining and upgrading contemporary technologies available in the environment. By staying at the forefront of technological advancements, STEAG aims to ensure that the Indian Army remains well-equipped to face the challenges of modern warfare.

Aligning with Atmanirbhar Bharat and Start-Up India:

STEAG’s establishment aligns with the tenets of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) and Start-Up India initiatives. The unit aims to bridge the divide between the Armed Forces, industry, and academia, fostering self-reliance in high-end communication technologies. Until now, these technologies have been a monopoly of select countries with advanced economies and research ecosystems.

By collaborating with industry and academia, the unit will contribute to the development of indigenous solutions, reducing dependence on foreign technologies and strengthening India’s defence capabilities.







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