Case Studies

Some detail of recent projects MUSC have worked on.

Port Security

MUSC has provided security services to over 400 ports and terminals around the world. Our clients include government agencies, military and law enforcement authorities and public and private port operators. Our experience ranges from the worlds' mega ports (such as Antwerp) to high risk countries (such as Somalia, Libya and Iraq). As advisers to many government and commercial bodies on security matters, MUSC’s clients are customs agencies and some of the largest shipping companies and port operators in the world.

Counter Piracy

MUSC has 40 years of experience of providing protection to ships operating in waters where there is a high risk of piracy and violent crime. MUSC is licenced by the UK government to provide armed maritime security services. Our highly trained and experienced onshore and offshore security and support staff provide comprehensive and reliable anti-piracy services to safeguard your ship's transit through high-risk areas. These services include, On-Board Security Teams, Route-Planning & Vessel Monitoring from our 24/7 operations room, and Counter-Piracy Auditing and Vessel Hardening

General Ship Security

MUSC provides training, consultancy and support for countering threats of weapons and drug smuggling, illegal immigration, human trafficking, theft and violent crime. Our clients include Customs, immigration, coast guard and other law enforcement agencies, port, ship and supply chain operators. Weapons and drug smuggling, human-trafficking and piracy all threaten ship security. The response to such threats need to be tailored to an individual client's needs. Container ships, cable-lay vessels, cruise ships, super yachts and tankers to name but a few have benefited from MUSC’s ship security solutions.

Security Assessments/Audits

Mitigation of security threats require a planned and co-ordinated response from appropriately trained operators. Ship and port operators, Flag States and government agencies work with MUSC to assess and develop their security operations

Arabian Gulf Coastal Security Systems Upgrade Study​

One of the largest oil companies in the world contracted MUSC to undertake detailed radar, thermal imaging, and sonar coverage studies as part of a security upgrade to ten offshore platforms. 

MUSC experts undertook site surveys, inspecting and verifying installation positions as well as taking environmental samples, including sound velocity profiles. This data allowed MUSC to create a detailed coverage analysis to determine the ranges that potential threats could be identified and tracked; airborne, surface, or underwater.

MUSC then worked with the Client to incorporate our results into their engineering designs to produce a system that met regulatory parameters for threat detection while taking account of the environmental challenges of the Arabian Gulf and the technologies available.

Blue Origin Maritime Security Study for at sea rocket recovery

MUSC were contracted by Blue Origin, to analyse maritime security requirements for the recovery at sea of the reusable first stage rocket known as New Glenn.

Launching from Cape Canaveral, the New Glenn payloads, featuring satellites and planned human missions to the moon, will use a first stage booster that will be recovered at sea on an adapted large vessel.  

Operating on the high seas, but in a congested commercial/military maritime environment MUSC identified a multitude of threats to successful recoveries. 

Factor analysis, in the form of a strategic and operational estimate were scrutinised in order to expose issues so that mitigation measures, including those related to a catastrophic failure impacting the recovery ship, were developed. An example of one issue MUSC exposed was that the apogee of the New Glenn launches was variable, depending on the intended final location of the payload in space.  For some apogee angles the potential recovery locations could be as close as 100nm from the eastern seaboard, in heavy shipping lanes but also attracting potential interest from larger pleasure craft, keen to witness an at sea landing, but potentially contaminating the recovery zone.  MUSC were able to quantify this threat and recommend mitigation measures, which have since been adopted.

Recovery of LNG Tanker from defaulting charterers

A major French shipping company contracted MUSC to recover an LNG tanker, which was under a bare boat charter to a Chinese company, suspected of illegally trading with Iran, sanctioned by the US  The French shipping company were concerned that the US would sanction them and the rest of their fleet. Requests to return the vessel to the parent company had previously been ignored by the charterer. MUSC conducted an operational estimate to develop a courses of action “COA” brief to the client.  Once briefed, the client contracted MUSC to implement a plan and recover the vessel, that was at the time anchored seven miles offshore within the Malacca Straits. Through a carefully orchestrated plan, with subterfuge playing an important part, MUSC were able to board the vessel with seasoned private military security personnel and allow Malaysian court officials to legally seize the vessel, by placing a warrant on the mast.  Subsequently MUSC operatives secured the anchor and chain mechanism to stop the vessel departing Malaysian territorial waters.  A new Captain was also embarked and installed.

A 3-week stand-off then ensued as the case went through the Malaysian court and the London based Court of Arbitration. Complementary evidence on board was found by MUSC, showing foodstuffs with Iranian labels, ships logs that had been secreted on board as well as AIS evidence showing the vessel going “dark” for a few days close to Iranian LNG facilities. This was all used in the ensuing case as evidence.

Due to the excellence in the strategic planning, and subsequent execution of the physical operation, the Chinese charterer lost the court case, and the Chinese crew were removed and replaced. The ship was returned to the owners intact, allowing MUSC to fulfil the assigned mission. Throughout, MUSC operatives remained on board in a hostile environment and ensured the 56,000 GRT vessel and its equipment remained in-tact, and completed the handover back to owners. Support was provided to operatives on the ground by the team in head office, and key members of the management team were involved in the planning and execution of the task.