The next generation of infrared imaging trackers and seekers will allow for the implementation of more smarter tracking algorithms, able to keep a positive lock on a targeted aircraft in the presence of countermeasures. Pattern recognition algorithms will be able to select targets based on features extracted from all possible targets images. Artificial neural networks provide an important class of such algorithms. In particular, probabilistic neural networks perform almost as optimal Bayesian classifiers, by approximating the probability density functions of the features of the objects. Furthermore, these neural networks generate an output that indicates the confidence it has in its answer. We have evaluated the the possibility of integrating such neural networks in an infrared imaging seeker emulator, devised by the Defense Research and Development establishment at Valcartier. We describe the characteristics extracted from the images and define translation invariant features from these. We give a basis for the selection of which features to use as input for the neural network. We build the network and test it on some real data. Results are shown, which indicate a remarkable efficiency of over 98% correct recognition. For most of the images on which the neural network makes its mistakes, even a human expert would probably have been mistaken. We build a reduced version of this network, with 82% fewer neurons, and only a 0.6% less precision. Such a neural network could well be used in a real time system because its computing time on a normal PC gives a rate of over 5,300 patterns per second.