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This paper presents the results of an extensive experimental parametric analysis of coherent radar detectors exploiting a new Ka-band high-resolution sea-clutter database. The statistical analysis of the submeter range resolution real data shows strong fluctuations of both the spectral shape and power between adjacent range cells. This highly heterogeneous dataset is therefore ideally suited to characterize the performance degradation to be expected in real conditions, relative to the homogeneous finite-sample-support case. The impact of spectral heterogeneity within the reference window of the detectors is quantified by resorting to simulated datafiles. The analysis focuses on both the experimental constant false alarm rate (CFAR) behavior and the synthetic Swerling I target probability of detection. Finally, a comparison with a practical detection scheme is included, allowing the trade-off between increased computational complexity and improvement in performance over conventional approaches to be assessed.