The Annihilator, sometimes known as the NOOSE Annihilator, is a helicopter in Grand Theft Auto IV based on the S-70 Blackhawk. The Annihilator's design and real-life counterpart are comparable to those of the Raindance in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It fills the attack helicopter role previously taken by the GTA III-era Hunter.
Operated by the LC Patriotism and Immigration Authority, or NOOSE, the Annihilator is the only armed law enforcement vehicle in GTA IV. It is occasionally seen patrolling the skies above Liberty City in single player mode, often over the East Borough Bridge and Hickey Bridge. Its livery is modeled after the US Custom and Border Protection's Office of CBP Air and Marine colors.
The Annihilator is armed with four side-mounted miniguns, which are difficult to aim and require reloading after prolonged fire, but which are hugely devastating to people and vehicles alike, and are essentially supplied with infinite ammunition. Normally, AI-controlled Annihilators never use their miniguns, instead relying on NOOSE soldiers seated on the rounds to fire on the player, however in The Ballad of Gay Tony mission "High Dive", NOOSE uses the miniguns in full effect to assault the player while he is on top of Rotterdam Tower. A passenger in an Annihilator (or any other helicopter) can shoot an assault rife type weapon whether they are in the large passenger bay in the center of the chopper, or in the copilot's seat. Entering the Annihilator in multiplayer automatically grants the player a Rocket Launcher with 8 rounds.
The helicopter moves faster than any other vehicle in GTA IV, but is more difficult to slow down as a result. An effective way to slow down is to stop accelerating, pull back, and accelerate once again with the L-stick still held back, as opposed to simply reversing. In The Lost and Damned downloadable content, the top speed was increased and explosive minigun rounds were added, which destroy helicopters, cars, and people very quickly.
The Annihilator is a popular vehicle in GTA IV's Multiplayer modes because of its speed, maneuverability and resistance to enemy fire. In TLAD, the Annihilator isn't made available in single-player mode; it can only be acquired with cheats, or by sniping an Annihilator pilot flying low enough that the helicopter won't explode upon crashing. The Annihilator remains available in TLAD's Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch.
It is very commonly used in multiplayer, particularly Team Deathmatch, where the TLAD edition's explosive shells destroy vehicles easily and obliterate ground forces. The only weapons that can truly duke it out with the Annihilator are RPGs, assault rifles, or other Annihilators. The RPG can explode the Annihilator, or blast its tail off, forcing it to spin out of control. Annihilators facing their counterparts can do the same, or they can shoot off the rotor, also causing a crash. M4 or AK users have the range and stopping power to potentially kill pilots and/or passangers. Users of sniper rifles may also be able to pluck a pilot out of the sky with a headshot.
- One on a helipad at Northeast police station in Algonquin. It is watched over by LCPD officers armed with rifles, but stealing it will only attract the usual one star for vehicle theft, which can easily be evaded with the chopper.
- One in Purgatory near the Golden Pier. Taking this will attract no Wanted rating, since no one is guarding it. It can also be found in multiplayer.
- One on a helipad at a police station near Chinatown. Can be accessed by parking a large van/truck under a vent on the north side of the building,then jumping up a series of vents and edges to the top.
- One in Francis International Airport. Taking this will attract a 4 star wanted level, as the Annihilator is in the FIA runway area.
- An Annihilator spawns on top of the MeTV building in Algonquin in place of a Maverick after the player shoots all 200 pigeons.
- Three in Francis International Airport in multiplayer mode.
- Summoned by calling 359-555-0100. This disables the Walk Free and One Man Army achievements.
- At the Helitour HeliPort in Multiplayer
- One on top of the fire station in south-west Alderney in multiplayer.
- The helicopter can lose its blade or tail, causing it to either hurtle towards the ground or spin wildly out of control.
- Although the Annihilator has four M134 7.62 NATO miniguns, each has an unrealistically low rate of fire. The ROF of all four guns firing is slightly slower than that of an SMG; in real life, each of these should fire at least 70 rounds per second, with the helicopter's total ROF being 280 to 400 rounds per second with all miniguns firing.
- Along with the Fire Truck, the Annihilator is one of the only vehicles in Grand Theft Auto IV to have mounted weapon(s).
- During development, the Annihilator was painted black overall, with a NOOSE emblem. The final version includes a yellow stripe along the fuselage.
- The most likely reason why the Annihilator was removed from all of the spawning helipads in TLAD and TBoGT is because the Annihilator is being removed from service in Liberty City.
The Annihilator's miniguns in action.