DALLAS (AP) _ General Dynamics Corp. and Westinghouse Electric Corp. have been chosen to compete for a $200 million contract to design and manufacture magnets for the superconducting super collider.

Roy F. Schwitters, director of the Super Collider Laboratory, said the General Dynamics' Space Systems Division in San Diego, Calif., has been chosen as the leader for the project.

Also chosen was Westinghouse's Collider Dipole Division of Orlando, Fla., Schwitters said in a statement released Tuesday.

General Dynamics will produce prototype magnets for test and evaluation. Each firm will then produce 35 preproduction magnets, which the Super Collider Laboratory will start testing and evaluating in 1993.

Both companies will later produce 251 magnets each to be installed in the super collider's particle accelerator.

The firms will then compete for a production order for the remaining 8,200 superconducting magnets, each of which will be about 52 feet long and weigh about 25,000 pounds.

The magnets will guide beams of high energy protons around the accelerator's rings at the speed of light and bring them into collisions where detectors will record the results, enabling scientists to learn more about the nature of energy and matter.

The super collider is to be built 30 miles south of Dallas.