The Air Force sent 14 Super Hercules military planes to western Tokyo Monday in a sign of loyalty to Japan amid growing tensions and threats of war in the Pacific with China and North Korea. Air Force officials called the C-130J planes its “meanest, toughest, most tactical machine,” Stars and Stripes reported.

The planes were delivered in a ceremony at Yokota Air Base complete with a crowd of airmen, family members and Japanese guests. U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Jerry P. Martinez said during the event that the plane’s signaled Washington’s “ever, ever, ever strong commitment” to Japan.

“Today the United States of America delivered its premier, meanest, toughest, most tactical machine in the world, the J model,” he said. “When you look around the world at the threats that exist in this region, our friends in Japan, they need to know that the United States sends its best … we have the premier tactical airlifter now on Japanese soil.”

Defense and global security leaders have closely been watching simmering conflicts in Asia, where North Korea continues to test its nuclear weapons capabilities, and China has warily eyed the new administration of President Donald Trump, who has threatened to start a trade war with Beijing. China has been at the center of other conflicts, as well, such as building military bases in the disputed South China Sea claimed by various nations and sending warships to the East China Sea claimed by Japan. China has also questioned South Korea over its new anti-ballistic missile system. Seoul and Tokyo are both close allies of the U.S. 

Maj. Gen. Mark C. Dillon compared this week the Super Hercules aircrafts to the world's finest sports cars. “It’s like driving a Ferrari or a Maserati,” he said. “It has a lot of power. You can land it exactly where you want to on the runway.”

Newer C-130J Super Hercules feature enhanced GPS capabilities and improved communication systems from contractor Lockheed Martin. The four-turboprop military airlifter is designed for special operations, such as defense and humanitarian applications, aerial refueling and close air support, UPI reported. 

The planes' new Rolls Royce engines is said to bring more power, fuel efficiency and range. The C-130Js can carry 128 passengers. Older models only were equipped for 92 passengers. The military aircraft are also considered a model of safety. Fewer than eight C-130Js have crashed to date.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly described the planes the U.S. sent to Japan.