A microwave synthetic aperture radar (SAR) exploits coherent target-return processing to achieve an along-track spatial resolution better than its antenna's diffraction limit. It also uses its range resolution capability to enhance its across-track spatial resolution. This paper considers the application of SAR techniques to the optical wavelength-coherent laser radar-regime. It presents performance analysis for optical SARs, focusing on their along-track and across-track spatial resolutions, their carrier-to-noise ratios (CNRs), and their signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) in a variety of situations. Results are first obtained for performance under ideal operating conditions. Then the effects of laser frequency instability, atmospheric turbulence, and radar-aim errors are factored into the theory. The analysis is illustrated by system performance calculations for optical SARs based on reasonable technology parameters.