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The parametric Rao test for a multichannel adaptive signal detection problem is derived by modeling the disturbance signal as a multichannel autoregressive (AR) process. Interestingly, the parametric Rao test takes a form identical to that of the recently introduced parametric adaptive matched filter (PAMF) detector for space-time adaptive processing (STAP) in airborne surveillance radar systems and other similar applications. The equivalence offers new insights into the performance and implementation of the PAMF detector. Specifically, the Rao/PAMF detector is asymptotically (for large samples) a parametric generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT), due to an asymptotic equivalence between the Rao test and the GLRT. The asymptotic distribution of the Rao test statistic is obtained in closed form, which follows an exponential distribution under the null hypothesis H 0 and, respectively, a noncentral Chi-squared distribution with two degrees of freedom under the alternative hypothesis H 1. The noncentrality parameter of the noncentral Chi-squared distribution is determined by the output signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) of a temporal whitening filter. Since the asymptotic distribution under H 0 is independent of the unknown parameters, the Rao/PAMF asymptotically achieves constant false alarm rate (CFAR). Numerical results show that these results are accurate in predicting the performance of the parametric Rao/PAMF detector even with moderate data support.