As a punishment for defying orders on a previous mission, air force major Frank Cross (Dolph Lundgren) is assigned to protect the American President (Roy Scheider) and his 'black bag'. This contains the codes for launching America's nuclear missiles. Terrorists soon attack, snatching the bag and nearly killing Frank in the process. After a high-speed chase, the terrorists are tracked to a missile factory, from where they intend to launch the nuclear devices at Washington unless the President kills himself on live television. It is up to Frank to stop them.