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The subaperture cross-correlation magnitude (SCM) has previously been proposed as a statistic that improves the contrast between small ship targets and the surrounding sea in synthetic-aperture-radar images. This preprocessing technique utilizes the fast decorrelation of open-water surface ripples on the scale of the SAR wavelength relative to coherent targets such as a ship. However, optimization of the bandwidth splitting in the subband extraction has not received any attention. The aim of this letter is twofold: 1) to describe the technical details of the algorithm, including modifications that are necessary to allow overlapping subapertures; and 2) to study the effect of splitting the bandwidth into two azimuth subapertures with respect to varying bandwidths and subaperture overlap. The impact on the SCM is investigated in terms of measures of speckle reduction and target-to-clutter contrast. Experiments are performed on real single-look complex SAR data containing repeated acquisitions of a vessel in open sea. The results indicate that the subband extraction strategy has a clear impact on performance.