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The variable structure multiple model (VSMM) approach to the maneuvering target tracking problem is considered. A new VSMM design, the minimal submodel-set switching (MSMSS) algorithm for tracking a maneuvering target is presented. The MSMSS algorithm adaptively determines the minimal set of models from the total model set and uses this to perform multiple models (MM) estimation. In addition, an iterative MSMSS algorithm with improved maneuver detection and termination properties is developed. Simulations results demonstrate that, compared with a standard interacting MM (IMM), the proposed algorithms require significantly lower computation while maintaining similar tracking performance. Alternatively, for a computational load similar to IMM, the new algorithms display significantly improved performance.