A senior Israeli intelligence official confirmed on Wednesday that Egypt is buying the same advanced S-300 air defense system that Iran had bought from Russia.
"I don't know what kind of threat Egypt looks at when they decide to buy it, but we do not see Egypt as the enemy." Israel Official were quoted as saying by various media on Wednesday.
However, Egypt officials said that Israel should not feel threatened."If we are getting such a thing, it's because we're looking east, not north," the Egyptian official added. It is ambiguous if they have referred to Iran, which has nuclear and missile programs that concern many Arab countries.
There is also possibility that they might have referred to Sinai desert, which has been overrun by ISIS-affiliated groups.
The S-300 is a long range surface-to-air missile developed by the Russian firm Almaz. It was designed to intercept aircraft and cruise missiles. Its most advanced models are also capable of targeting ballistic missiles.
The US officials said the missile system would provide the country’s military a strong deterrent against any air attack, meanwhile Moscow Kremlin asserted that the S-300 is completely a defensive system that won’t jeopardize the security of either Israel or any other Middle East countries.
The Russian news agency TASS had reported on March 6 that Egypt would receive the Antey-2500 missile system, an S-300 variant, and the value of the contract was more than a billion dollars but Russian officials had not confirmed the deal.