A USAF KC-135 Stratotanker has performed a joint semi-annual aerial refuelling training exercise with 30 Royal Danish Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcons, aimed at strengthening operational readiness and mutual trust between the Nato allies.

The KC-135 Stratotanker, during the eight-hour training mission, offloaded more than 40,000t of fuel and provided training to Danish pilots who regularly fly combat sorties with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Allied Air Component Command Headquarters Ramstein spokesman Manfred Reudenbach said a Danish F-16 fighter pilot, who has already received gas from a US KC-135 during air-to-air refuelling, will handle this situation routinely in a real-world environment.

Specialised KC-135s, by using a system that segregates fuel tanks spread throughout the wings and belly of the airframe, can refuel several types of receivers, even those that burn different types of gas.

A multirole fighter aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has nine hardpoints for weapons payloads, one at each wing tip, three under each wing and one on the centreline under the fuselage.