A new spatiotemporal target detection method that utilizes the recursive temporal profile (RTP) and the spatiotemporal gradient pattern (STGP) is proposed for infrared (IR) image sequence. In the IR search and tracking system, long-distance aerial targets compared with short-distance aerial targets appear to be composed of several pixels with no special shapes and their movements are slow. Considering the characteristics of aerial targets, an algorithm based on the STGP and fuzzy-set theory is proposed to detect long-distance aerial targets while the recursive temporal profile algorithm based on the temporal profile and mean estimation is proposed to detect short-distance aerial targets. In addition, the RTP and the STGP are combined to detect the aerial targets that exist at diverse distances in the IR image sequence. The performance of the proposed method is examined by using the receiver operating characteristic curve. The experiment results show that the proposed method performs better than the existing methods in terms of target detection and clutter removal.