New variations of minimum noise and correlation energy (MINACE) filters are considered for detection and recognition of objects and rejection of clutter in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data. We present initial very attractive results that aid different modules in an SAR automatic target recognition (ATR) processor. For four class test set data, we show detection performance of PD>99.8% with PFA≅0.026/km2; for classification we show PC>96.6% with PFA≅0.026/km2. Selected tests with noise and obscurations present and of several objects in large real SAR background are also included. All results used full shift-invariance tests. © 1997 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.