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A method is proposed to optimize the radiation pattern of a planar array in order to maximize the signal-to-ambiguity-ratio for a squinted synthetic aperture radar (SAR) observation geometry. The optimal beamformer is the generalized eigenvector associated with a pair of matrices that depends on observation geometry and the Earth reflectivity model. The proposed approach is valid for any array configuration. This enables adaptivity to surface background and T/R module failures, thus increasing system robustness.