BERLIN, April 26 (CGTN) - The United States and its allies will meet monthly to discuss Ukraine's defense needs, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday.

"Today's gathering will become a monthly Contact Group on Ukraine's self-defense," Austin said following the first session of a weapons summit.

"The Contact Group will be a vehicle for nations of goodwill to intensify our efforts, coordinate our assistance, and focus on winning today's fight and the struggles to come," he added.

Forty nations joined Tuesday's meeting at the Ramstein U.S. airbase in southwestern Germany, including NATO members but also countries such as Israel, Japan and Australia.

At the start of the talks, Austin had said Washington would "move heaven and earth" to help Ukraine win its "battle" against Russia".

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht meanwhile announced that Berlin has agreed to give the go-ahead to the delivery of used Gepard (Cheetah) anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine.

Austin praised the "major decision" by Berlin to supply the 50 anti-aircraft systems, and added that Canada would also send eight armored vehicles.