Army starts elite tech unit STEAG; Here's what it can do

The Indian Army has initiated a significant development in its technological capabilities by establishing the Signals Technology Evaluation and Adaptation Group (STEAG). This elite unit is dedicated to researching and evaluating futuristic communication technologies like 6G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and quantum computing for military applications.

“It will be a premier organisation, the first of its kind equipped with the capability to harness niche technology, leverage cutting-edge solutions and identify suitable cases for defence applications by fostering collaboration with academia and industry,” one of the officials said.

Nurturing Future Technologies:

STEAG’s primary objective is to nurture technologies across wired and wireless systems, covering a wide spectrum of domains including electronic exchanges, mobile communications, software-defined radios, electronic warfare systems, and more. Officials within the Army highlight the importance of STEAG in developing cutting-edge solutions and fostering collaboration with academia and industry to identify suitable defense applications.

The elite unit will focus on all upcoming critical technology domains including electronic exchanges, mobile communications, software defined radios, electronic warfare systems, 5G and 6G networks, quantum technologies, AI, machine learning, etc., the official said.

The hi-tech unit will carry out technical scouting, evaluation, development, management of core ICT solutions, and provide user interface support by maintenance and upgradation of contemporary technologies available in the environment, the official added.

Focus Areas and Mandate:

According to Army officials, STEAG will focus on critical technology domains such as 5G and 6G networks, quantum technologies, AI, and machine learning. The unit will conduct technical scouting, evaluation, development, and management of core ICT solutions while providing user interface support through the maintenance and upgrade of contemporary technologies.

“Aligning itself with the tenets of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Start-Up India, STEAG will help bridge the divide between the armed forces on the one hand and industry and academia on the other,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

The new Centre of Excellence is expected to be a game changer in fostering self-reliance in high-end communication technologies, which have thus far been a monopoly of select countries with advanced economies and research ecosystems, he said.

Strategic Significance:

The establishment of STEAG underscores the Army’s commitment to acquiring new technologies in response to the evolving nature of warfare. Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande has emphasized the importance of staying ahead in technology to maintain a competitive edge on the battlefield. By aligning with the principles of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) and Start-Up India, STEAG aims to bridge the gap between the armed forces, industry, and academia.

Promoting Self-Reliance:

Officials believe that STEAG will play a crucial role in fostering self-reliance in high-end communication technologies, which have traditionally been dominated by countries with advanced economies and research ecosystems. The establishment of this Center of Excellence is expected to be a game-changer in India’s quest for technological self-sufficiency.

Enhancing Operational Capabilities:

In the context of modern warfare, effective communication is paramount for operational success. Army officials emphasize that the side with superior communication technologies and the ability to connect various constituents for information sharing will have a strategic advantage. STEAG’s establishment reflects the Army’s commitment to imbibe advancements in technology to enhance its capabilities in the digital domain and ensure seamless communication support during operations.

“In the fast-evolving technologies for the battlefield, the side with better communication technologies and the ability to connect the various constituents for information sharing will have an edge over its adversary,” another official said.

He said modern warfare necessitates the induction of new equipment to provide seamless communication support to units and formations during operations.

“To imbibe such advancements in technology, the Indian Army has raised this groundbreaking technology-oriented unit STEAG which will bolster its capabilities in the digital domain,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

William Murphy

Related post