As infrared zoom systems change the focal length continuously, remain images stability and keep good image quality during the process of zoom, it is widely applied to infrared navigation, infrared detection, infrared-guided etc vehicular and airborne area. In order to satisfy the growing demand of infrared continuous zoom system, a zoom ratio of ten times long-wave infrared continuous zoom optical system that based on an uncooled detector was designed. System guided by the zoom theory of positive groups of compensation, calculated the initial structure of the system and according to the system of optical parameters with using ZEMAX software for optical design did an aberration balance and optimized, then the optical system image quality was systematically analyzed and evaluated. The result showed that the modulation transfer function (MTF) was above 0.4 within the whole focal range at spatial frequency 16 lp/mm, the root mean square radius of maximum dispersion spot was smaller than a pixel dimension and it met the requirements of the system imaging quality when F/# was 2, continuous zoom range was from 40 mm to 400 mm and the image size was 12 mm. The design of the system realized the requirements of compact structure, large zoom ratio, easily assembled and excellent image quality to optical system for infrared imaging.