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When the range migration caused by motion error exceeds the range cell resolution, the performance of a conventional phase autofocus approach degrades. In this paper, a new adaptive motion compensation (MoCo) algorithm with the removal of the migration that is nonsystematic has been developed for airborne spotlight synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery with high resolution. In the algorithm, the relationship between nonsystematic range cell migration (NsRCM) and phase error was first explicitly revealed after the polar format algorithm resampling. The NsRCM could be readily calculated by coarse but reliable phase error estimation. Subsequently, the NsRCM and the bulk of the azimuth phase error were corrected. After the removal of the NsRCM, degradation of the conventional phase autofocus resulting from sidelobe increase as well as mainlobe broadening was avoided. Finally, a fine MoCo procedure was performed to remove the residual azimuth phase error satisfactorily. Through the analysis of the airborne spotlight SAR raw data with high-resolution and wide-swath illumination, a well-focused imagery was obtained. Quantitative assessment of the image quality was satisfactory. The MoCo algorithm was validated.