The 80's had so many new gadgets to deal with. Computers, Calculator watches, Atari and BADASS helicopters! This particular helicopter was manned by Ray Scheider for the LAPD. The quote before we see the machine is 'crowd control from the air'.
Premise being that with the Olympics coming to LA they will need a new and more effective way to deal with terrorism. When this thing flies out of the sunset, all decked with missiles and machine guns, you can't help but get a little excited. Turns out, this movie is just a car chase in the sky. For a couple of reasons, Schieder ends up essentially stealing the chopper and being chased for it throughout the last half of the movie. All the while he destroys the LAPD's cars and copters and then the US Government starts getting their machines busted as well as destroying the city with guns and missiles. So much for Anti-Terror.
There is also a police murder and a conspiracy or two some Vietnam flashbacks and a rather awesome 360 helicopter loop!