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Technology Mechanics Question

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So, there's a bunch of techs (like the later spotting tech, some of the hull techs, or the all-or-nothing armor tech) which purpose to have a general benefit to your entire fleet without having to be specifically selected in the ship designer.

What I'm wondering is, how do these techs effect existing ships? If I discover all-or-nothing armor, do I have to refit my ships to take advantage of it? Or will it only apply to ships designed after it's available? What about ships that were designed before a tech is available, but complete construction after? I'd imagine some techs (like armor upgrades) would only apply to refits or new construction, but then other techs (like damage control parties) are doctrine and training based and would apply to all ships immediately.

Is this documented anywhere?

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New module techs like the all or nothing armor citadel or for example explosives have to be selected when refitting. Other "passive" techs arent used if the ship is not refitted at least once, even if you dont change anything other than making a refit, save it and refit the ships. Although Im not totally sure if this is true for absolute all passive techs, but new Gun marks are definetly not used without making a refit and also does the hull not becoming lighter without a simple refit.

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