IDF's new multi-dimensional Division 99 to open next month

Division will see rapid-maneuvering attack forces penetrate deep enemy territory, and will specialize in fighting in fortified urban areas.

IDF's new multi-dimensional Division 99, courtesy IDF Spokesperson's Unit/
With the Israeli military gearing up to face a more complex battlefield in the next war, the IDF’s new multidimensional combat division will be formally established next month.
Division 99 is being established for rapid-maneuvering attack forces to penetrate deep into enemy territory. It will specialize in fighting in fortified urban areas such as in Lebanon and the densely populated Gaza Strip.
The establishment of the division will be based on existing resources and will have four brigades consisting of infantry forces from the Kfir Brigade, commando units, armored forces, engineering forces and reserve troops from the Paratroopers Brigade.
The newly formed Ghost Unit, which has high combat capabilities formed to fight on all fronts and terrain to locate, expose and destroy enemy forces, will also be included in Division 99.
The Ghost Unit has integrated troops from units in the infantry, combat engineers – including troops from the elite Yahalom and Gadsar reconnaissance battalions – paratroopers, artillery, the Oketz canine unit and the Duvdevan commando unit, as well as IAF (including pilots) and field intelligence.
During the recent tensions with Hezbollah along the northern border, the Ghost Unit was deployed along with the other reinforcements and used new techniques and technology that have been developed in the unit.
The division will also have drone operators, troops from Military Intelligence and will be armed with precision artillery and IAF support.
It will be commanded by Col. A, who will be promoted to brigadier-general upon the opening of the division. It is expected to reach initial operational capacity by 2022 and full operational capacity by 2023-2024. It will be subordinate to the Ground Forces.
Division 99 was formed under the military’s Momentum multiyear plan, which focuses on new concepts and methods of warfare that have been adapted to the challenges of an urban battlefield saturated with enemy fire.
If in previous wars troops could visualize the enemy in one clear location, today’s enemy is decentralized and much harder to find. They have become time-sensitive targets that challenge the IDF to strike them immediately after they are detected and before they disappear.
Under the plan, the Ground Forces have been investing in robotics. There will also be a digital transformation in which all troops will be connected, including the pilot in the sky and the platoon commander on the ground.
The IDF has been training on Rafael’s Fire Weaver sensor-to-shooter system, which connects sensors and personnel, making for a digitized battle space that reduces engagement times with targets and increases operational performance.
Fire Weaver maps locations, points of interest, friendly personnel and enemy targets. All troops, from the soldier on the ground to the pilot in the air are connected, looking at the exact same targets. They are helped by artificial intelligence, which can analyze all information in real time to prioritize fire allocation.
The military will also adapt training to the challenges of urban combat and establish urban-combat training facilities with advanced virtual-reality simulators for soldiers and reservists, which will allow them to strengthen their fighting methods to match the characteristics of the modern battlefield and those of Israel’s enemies.
The IDF also aims to open a large training facility in the Golan Heights that would simulate Lebanese territory where troops would fight against Hezbollah. The facility would allow for maneuvering forces to carry out drills, including live fire.
The new Rotem facility at the Tze’elim Ground Forces training base in the Negev was also inaugurated in recent months. The facility simulates urban and rural battlefields. It allows for battalion training of armored combat vehicles, infantry forces and underground combat.
Since digital technology might not always work on the battlefield, IDF Ground Forces is still drilling troops on well-trained battle techniques.
Despite the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and lack of budget, the Ground Forces have returned to training reserve forces, with two brigades completing live-fire drills in recent weeks.
The Ground Forces also plans to announce the development of new weapons in the coming months, including new precision shells and small drones that can attach to buildings and detect movement behind walls.