Dr. Frank Bader, 60, a physicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, died Sunday at his home in Highland, Md., after suffering an apparent heart attack.

With the laboratory since 1948, he was a specialist in missile systems, propulsion design and fleet communications.

Dr. Bader was a pioneer in the development of the Talos guided missile, the ramjet engine for application to the world's first long-range antiaircraft missile developed for fleet defense.

Between 1958 and 1965, he supervised analysis and test groups for the early and advanced models of Talos. He played a key role in the design of the Talos Tactical Test Equipment (TATTE) for rapid test of the total Talos missile systems aboard ship.

Later Dr. Bader worked on life support systems for men in a space environment. In 1977, he helped developed a program for evaluating the communication systems between ships and from ship-to-shore for task forces of the U.S. Fleet in the North Atlantic.

He had worked on strategic evaluation studies for the Navy's submarine force for the last five years. He held several patents, including one for a missile flight simulator.

Dr. Bader was born in Hampton, Va. He received a degree in physics from the College of William and Mary in 1940 and a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Virginia. He was a research physicist at the latter from 1944 to 1946.

He had worked as a radio applications engineer for the Bendix Aviation Corp. and was with the Kellex Corp., a management organization for the Applied Physics Laboratory before joining the laboratory staff.

Dr. Bader was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Physical Society and the American Association for the advancement of Science.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and two sons, Lars and Hans, of the home; a brother, John, of Saint Petersburg, Fla., and a sister, Judy Leonard of South Hadley, Mass.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Nature Conservancy in Arlington. CAPTION: Picture, DR. FRANK BADER