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Fo3PL Chinese Sub.jpg
Icon sewer.png
Sub Recovery Site loc.jpg
Map MarkerSub Recovery Site
QuestsThe Velvet Curtain
Cell NameDLC04Submarine
ref idxx00c2b4
TerminalsSub Recovery Site terminals
Gametitle-FO3 PL.png
Gametitle-FO3 PL.png

The SSN-37-1A, marked by Sub Recovery Site, is a small derelict Chinese reconnaissance submarine off the coast of Point Lookout. It has no inhabitants, and only 1 interior. It will be destroyed if you complete The Velvet Curtain quest, as blowing it up is one of the objectives.


Covert submarine SSN-37-1A is a Chinese spy submarine sent to patrol hostile waters surrounding Point Lookout. It sank before the nuclear phase of the Great War.

As for remnants of equipment, all main systems seem to be offline due to flooding and centuries of inactivity. There is no working radio, navigation, weapons, or targeting parameters for the sub itself. However, there is a radio (or radio type piece) that is entirely rusted brown and dead. There is no accessible on-board AI nor navigational software. Surprisingly, the electricity still works, and the presence of green goo on the floor in the aft section suggests that the sub was nuclear powered. It also apparently has small back up generators in the rear.

Externally, there are no signs of torpedo tube hatches and internally, there is no torpedo room, implying that this sub was for reconnaissance, not direct engagement.[1]

Its mission was as follows:


Mission parameters:
Routine Patrol/Observation

Vessel SSN-37-1A is ordered to patrol hostile waters between:
+38 3' 36.00", -76 18' 36.00"
+37 49' 41.61", -76 0' 37.02"
+37 5' 60.00", -76 1' 12.00"

Variations from patrol are tolerated as required by evasive circumstances. Crew is under strict instructions not to engage enemy if detected. Self-destruct protocol must be initiated in event of imminent capture. Status updates are required at six hour intervals by one-way burst comm on orbital frequency #K17.18.v121.

It should be noted that this would have been an exceptionally dangerous assignment, as it would have taken the sub within 8 miles of the home port of the Atlantic fleet and the largest naval air field on the east coast.



Above the water line is a small stranded boat and a buoy. Below, it is a medium-sized submarine with a hatch on top.


The submarine, for its external size, is extremely compact inside. There is only one accessible room, with just two beds available. The ladder leads straight into the roof and a pipe spraying water is also severed in another point but not leaking. There is a silver mainframe computer at the forward end of the chamber, and a generator leaking some kind of green goo to the aft. The sub has about a foot of irradiated water along the floor.


There are only two bunks in SSN-37-1A, suggesting that the crew was between 2-4 servicemen. It is likely that the submarine only had a crew of 2.

There was one surviving Chinese submariner extracted from SSN-37-1A: John Doe (obviously not his real name). He was transferred to Turtledove Detention Camp after his capture. It is noted in his interrogation report that he was "demonstrating extraordinary fortitude for a relatively low-ranking grunt". The fate of the skipper is revealed in the same report "I'm sure this one would have gone the same way as his skipper if the cyanide capsule in his molar hadn't been a dud".

Notable loot

Related quests


  • You will need to swim through irradiated water in order to access the sub, and there is constant radiation inside the vessel. It would be wise to use a Rad-X or RadAway and, if you begin swimming from the pier, to stop on the buoy halfway.
  • The vessel is adjacent to another vessel that you cannot enter. Under the adjacent vessel is a locked safe and two first aid boxes.
  • This location is unmarked on your map even with the Explorer Perk until you are told to go there during The Velvet Curtain.
  • Discovering this location is not needed for the Bog Walker achievement.


The SSN-37-1A appears only in the Fallout 3 add-on Point Lookout.

Behind the scenes

  • The designation SSN is used by the United States Navy to designate American Nuclear Powered Attack submarines and it is highly unlikely that the Chinese would use the same designation, especially on a reconnaissance sub.
  • The SSN-37-1A has a similar appearance to early model Los Angeles Class Attack Submarines.
  • The coordinates refer to actual points around the Chesapeake Bay (Norfolk, Virginia, USA) into which e.g. the Potomac River flows: Google Maps Overview.
  • The pinyin text that appears in the terminal, "shì shàng wú nán shì, zhǐ pà yǒu xīn rén", is an Chinese proverb which, when translated, literally means "You must persevere to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks" which describes their mission of reconnaissance all too well.

See also