For ship targets detection in cluttered infrared image sequences, a robust detection method, based on the probabilistic single Gaussian model of sea background in Fourier domain, is put forward. The amplitude spectrum sequences at each frequency point of the pure seawater images in Fourier domain, being more stable than the gray value sequences of each background pixel in the spatial domain, are regarded as a Gaussian model. Next, a probability weighted matrix is built based on the stability of the pure seawater’s total energy spectrum in the row direction, to make the Gaussian model more accurate. Then, the foreground frequency points are separated from the background frequency points by the model. Finally, the false-alarm points are removed utilizing ships’ shape features. The performance of the proposed method is tested by visual and quantitative comparisons with others.