The Solar Federation is the only race that can upgrade the tech levels of old starships. If a Federation ship sets their mission to "Super Refit" and is at a Federation starbase for one turn. The chief engineer will remove the engines, beam weapons and torpedo launchers and replace the components with the highest tech level components available from the starbase's components inventory. If a higher tech components is not available the chief engineer will not swap components. Old components taken off the ship will be placed in storage. Super refit requires a full set of parts for the ship to work correctly.
To super refit a Nova you need at least 10 beams of any one type on the starbase and at least 10 torpedo tubes of any one type on the starbase. Normal ship building takes place before the super refit, so if some other ship uses the refitting ship's components before hand, the super refit will not take place and the ship will be left with no weapons.