Given as input a large (roughly 1000 by 2000) high- resolution SAR image and a target description, the SAR automatic target recognition (ATR) problem is to locate all occurrences of the target in the image ATR algorithms are assessed by their detection probability, their false alarm probability, and their running time. We propose an algorithm with a high detection probability, a moderate false alarm probability, and a fast running time -- it completes in seconds on a conventional workstation. Such an algorithm is suitable for the first stage in a multi-stage ATR algorithm. Our main contribution is determining that template shape is the crucial factor in fast binary template matching. The methodology presented should prove useful in other situations where binary template matching is effective in detecting targets.