The authors discuss the application of Wigner-Ville distribution (WVD) for moving-target detection (MTD) in a typical ground-based radar. The proposed technique enhances the target-detection capability using the fact that the sidelobe levels in the Wigner spectrum are very small in magnitude. This in turn facilitates the realisation of the Doppler-filter bank by WVD without resorting to additional weighting to reduce the sidelobes, unlike in the current MTD-I system (FFT-based). The MTD scheme proposed exhibits good performance capabilities, by providing higher detection probabilities, lower false-alarm rates and an additional 10 dB gain in improvement factor, for ground plus weather clutter, over MTD-I. This novel approach to MTD serves as a simple and superior alternative to the MTD-II and MTD-III schemes, which have similar performance capabilities over MTD-I. Computer-simulation results are presented to support the superiority of the proposed approach. © IEE, 1997.