Indian Army’s elite tech unit headed by Colonel-rank officer from Corps of Signals

Signals Technology Evaluation and Adaptation Group (STEAG), an elite unit of the Indian Army recently raised in Delhi, is headed by a Colonel-rank officer from the Corps of Signals, with a primary aim to enhance the communication infrastructure of the force.

This unit, with a strength of nearly 280 personnel, will undertake research and evaluation of futuristic communication technologies like 6G, artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing for defence applications in view of the changing nature of the field.

“The primary aim is to enhance the communication infrastructure of the Indian Army,” a senior official said.

This group will be operational under the Signals Directorate and is based in Delhi. It is headed by a Colonel rank officer of the Army from the Corps of Signals, he said.

STEAG is mandated to nurture technologies spanning the complete spectrum of wired and wireless systems, officials earlier said.

The setting up of STEAG is part of the Army’s efforts to develop technologies considering the future battlefield, they said.

“However, it is not a new raising, but 21 Signals Group has been reorganised with fresh mandate as Signals Technology Evaluation and Adaptation Group (STEAG) to adapt to the emerging technologies in the field of communications,” the senior official said.

This unit is in line with the Army’s vision of ‘On Path to Transformation’ in “adopting niche technologies towards becoming a future ready force,” he added.

STEAG proves to be one of the significant steps of 2024, which is declared as ‘Year of Tech Absorption’, the Army official asserted.

It seeks to harness the latest and also niche technologies “available in civil street and worldwide”. This group analyses the existing technologies keeping the requirements of the Indian Army in mind and draw out use cases for trials or induction, officials said.

Accordingly, it interfaces with private companies, industry, academia to develop technology as suited to the Army, they said.

Army Chief General Manoj Pande has been highlighting the need for acquiring new technologies by the force in view of the changing nature of warfare.

The Army believes communications are going to be an important component of military operations.