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The role of maritime patrol missions is to monitor large oceanic areas. The authors focus on a complete signal-processing sequence from the primary detection of the targets to their classification or recognition from an airborne radar. Contrary to the classical approach in which detection, tracking, imaging and classification are considered separately, here the authors propose an integrated strategy based on a close cooperation among all of them. Recent developments in high range resolution target detection are presented and their integration in the complete system is discussed to limit false alarms. High-resolution ISAR imaging of ships is then tackled and associated with a feature extraction process and a support vector machine classifier. A set of real data is used to illustrate the imaging and classification results.