General Dynamics Corp., a major defense contractor, yesterday announced plans to add 150 employees at a facility in Woodbridge to work on an Army project that seeks to link a new generation of combat vehicles through an advanced communications system.

The Falls Church company said the new engineers and support staff will work on the Army's Future Combat Systems project, which is developing technologies to allow high-speed communication among soldiers in manned and unmanned ground and air vehicles. The project is intended to make the Army more mobile, flexible and effective.

General Dynamics said it will design manned ground vehicles for the Army under a $2 billion contract with Boeing Co.

The 150 positions will be filled by year's end through a combination of new hires and transfers from a company facility in Goleta, Calif., said Rob Dolittle, a General Dynamics spokesman.

Dolittle said the "vast majority will be new hires" who will be paid an average annual salary of $64,000.

General Dynamics employs more than 6,100 people in Virginia and 68,400 worldwide.

The company said it is creating a high-tech engineering organization at its Woodbridge Technical Center to work on the Army project. General Dynamics said it plans to invest about $2 million to upgrade the center in Prince William County.

A separate General Dynamics facility in Woodbridge employs more than 500 engineers and support staff to work on the U.S. Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program.

On June 15, the Marine Corps awarded General Dynamics a $47.5 million contract to develop systems that Marines can use to hone their skills in operating and maintaining a new generation of amphibious fighting vehicles.

Michael D. Bolon, a senior vice president in General Dynamics' land systems division, said in a statement that Prince William County "provides direct access to the uniquely trained and qualified defense industry workforce that we will be relying on to support" work on the Army project.